Wednesday, January 10, 2007


So, this is what I've been thinking about and reading lately, a poem introduced to me by a fellow co-worker and friend. As the new year begins, I try to remind myself of Max Ehrmann's words to get through the chaos of a messy house, the deluge of incoming bills, the lack of time to relax, the lack of communication between the people closest to you, and the perplexing "thing" we call life.


Go placidly amid the noise and 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;
and listen to others,
even 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 as 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 dark 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 than 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 confusion 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.

Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.


Anonymous said...

I'm very impressed with your blog. How you manage to keep active with two boys, complete your knitting projects and work full time amazes me.

I am touched that you like Desiderata, too.

Keep up the good work with this site and looking forward to seeing your great photography skill. Loved the jellyfish pic BTW.


Judy said...

Just discovered your blog :) Thank you for posting this poem. I haven't read it for years and the meaning is different now than when I was younger. I really needed to read it again.