Films, Books, Musings-With the Glamour of Old Hollywood and the Flair of the Retro

Desiderata by Max Ehrmann

In Attitude, Books, Excerpt, Poetry, Quotes on July 13, 2012 at 4:14 pm

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Desiderata

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 1927.

Max Ehrmann (1872-1945) was an American lawyer and poet who wrote the Desiderata in 1927. He wrote in his diary,in relation to it;

” I should like if I could, to leave a humble gift- a bit of chaste prose that had caught up some humble moods.”

Desiderata is translated from Latin as “desired things”. It is an inspirational message of faith and hope. During WWII it was estimated that about 1000 copies were distributed by Merill Moore, a U.S Army psychatrist with the objective of helping soldiers with their treatment.

The Desiderata was also used on posters during the ” Make Peace, Not War” movement of the 1960’s, and also has been recorded to music.

It has mistakenly been claimed to have been found in “Old St. Pauls’s Church, Baltimore” in 1692, however Ehrmanns’ family has proved copyright.

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