Today was a “Desiderata Day”


I keep a copy of a Ehrmann’s insightful essay “Desiderata”  in my diary. It falls out almost every other day, reminding me to read and heed. Today I needed it more than usual. 


Although it was written almost a century ago, the advice could have been written for the trying times of any age.  Today, I feel like it was written just for me. 

Read it again, and again, and again.

“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 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 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 perennial as the grass.

Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. (Does that include my neck?) 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 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.

(Note: Max Ehrmann, was an attorney, author and playwright from Terre Haute, Indiana, son of Bavarian immigrants. Mr. Ehrmann wrote more than 20 books and pamplets, and many essays and poems that were published in various newspapers and magazines. But none were more acclaimed or more loved than his prose-poem "Desiderata."


5 thoughts on “Today was a “Desiderata Day”

  1. Thank you, I, too, needed to read that.

    Bonus,I am from Indiana, so was a treat to learn Max was from near my hometown:)

  2. Hi Shannon – glad to have you tune in. I always thought it came from the 16th century – but no. I want to read some more of his writings.

  3. Hey …..Angel Girl…..Thank you so much for printing this….I lost my copy in a DIVORCE…….anywho….and have never remembered (???????????????) to purchase another….I love this…just copied it (at the library (no my computer is not fixed yet!!!!! ) – We won’t go there either. I wish I could have spent more time with you all last week end…….I have such fun in WP with my girls……Keep Bobby in your prayers….

    Love you

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