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Desiderata.

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on March 26, 2011 in Personal |

I know that this is old, possibly older than I can know, and that it is beautiful. The first is not a reason to leave it out, even older works – or people – can be fascinating, moving, inspiring. And the second, well, when you read it through slowly, perhaps a few times, you’ll understand the meaning of the ideal behind literary beauty.

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 people.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly ; and listen to all
even to the dull and ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive people, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself to others you will become vain and bitter;
there will always 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 not this blind you to the 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;
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 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 the 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.

There is a little bit of history behind this work too, which is well worth reading: here.

Love & Kisses, Viki.

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2 Comments

  • Katie says:

    oh this is beautiful, thanks for sharing it !

  • Francois Demers says:

    The original is better

    Give thy thoughts no tongue,

    Nor any unproportion’d thought his act.

    Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar;

    The friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,

    Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel;

    But do not dull thy palm with entertainment

    Of each new-hatch’d, unfledg’d comrade. Beware

    Of entrance to a quarrel, but, being in,

    Bear ‘t that th’ opposed may beware of thee.

    Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice;

    Take each man’s censure, but reserve thy judgment.

    Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,

    But not express’d in fancy; rich, not gaudy;

    For the apparel oft proclaims the man.

    Neither a borrower, nor a lender be;

    For loan oft loses both itself and friend,

    And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.

    This above all: to thine own self be true,

    And it must follow, as the night the day,

    Thou canst not then be false to any man.

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