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D E S I D E R A T A

O PLACIDLY

amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less then the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusions of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Penned by Max Ehrmann, 1927

In reality, Desiderata was not found in a church. It was penned by
Max Ehrmann in 1927. The present owner of the copyright:
Mr. Robert L. Bell, 
669 Main Street,
Melrose, Massachusetts 02176, 
Tel. (617) 665-4998

This prose poem, originally untitled, was written by Max Ehrmann in Terre Haute, Indiana in the early 1920's. In 1921, Max Ehrmann wrote in his diary:

"I should like, if I could, to leave a humble gift--a bit of chaste prose that had
caught up some noble moods," the result was Desiderata.

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