Back when I was at college this poem was one of my favourites. Whenever things were not going so well I turned to the poem as it was always a huge source of inspiration, and after reading it I always felt uplifted.

If you’ve never come across it before, you’re in for a real treat.

I found it again and posted it up.



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.

6 Responses

  1. Nneka says:

    We had to memorize this for our spirituality class in middle/high school. I thought it was all jibberish until I just read it.

    Lately, I’ve been recalling the first 2 lines and realized that the rest must have some meaning and, voila, it’s printed clearly on your site.

    It’s like how I thought that the first line of the 23rd psalm meant that I should not want the Lord who is my shepherd, as opposed to not wanting for anything because the Lord is my shepherd.

  2. Amit says:

    Hey Nneka, there are two poems I keep at my desk at work, this is one and “IF” is the other. I remember my brother having a copy of this poem in his bathroom and I never really appreciated it before but I stumbled across it and suddenly it made sense to me! 🙂

  1. August 30, 2011

    Worth perusing…: Desiderata #inspiration

  2. September 28, 2011

    Worth perusing…: Desiderata #inspiring

  3. November 21, 2011

    Worth perusing…: Desiderata #inspiring

  4. June 15, 2012

    #Archives: Desiderata

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