Tuesday, June 23, 2009

More words that inspire.....The Desiderata by Max Ehrmann

Go 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; and 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 or 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 not this 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 in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams; it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

- Max Ehrmann 1927

Growing up we always had a large copy of the Desiderata hanging in our dining room. I was always - even at a very young age, impressed by it's simplicity and timeless wisdom. Ever since I have always kept a copy, no matter where in the world I am. This is one of those pieces that so eloquently captures and encapsulates the truth of goodness.


  1. Cliff - Truths are truly timeless.

    I struggle with inner peace and raw excitement/passion for your life's mission coming together. How do they coexist?

    Are we to hide our excitement, passions, etc to others? That would be a "gray" existence.

    Your thoughts??

  2. Hi Bob - thanks for your comment.
    It is an interesting conundrum of passion vs peace. Stillness vs motion.....

    But in reality they are flip sides of the same coin.

    I for one would not ever contemplate living an existence without passion and without the emotions that after all are what make us human..and that make life worth living.

    Take for example the spring time of romance - that heady time when we are so enamored with a new love that we can think of little else. Would we curtail this when at some stage it evolves into something else? (which may be a deeper connection or may be a fading of passion...) Or would we enjoy it for what it is, in the moment - knowing and realising that emotions, like the clouds that float across the sky will come and will go.

    Just as the clouds provide wonder and beauty so do those emotions.

    I think the key to living with passion is to create and encourage mindfulness in ones life. By being mindful we can experience the emotions that life inevitably brings, without letting those emotions run our existence. We can suck the marrow out of life and enjoy it's wonderful flavours without becoming obsessed and addicted to those same emotions.

    Thanks again for your comments,

  3. Hey Cliff,

    A timely reminder of this beautiful construction of words - Bob's comment and your response are more fuel for thought.