Desiderata: Words for Life

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.

Words for Life by Max Enhrmann

SkyImage by kamalpreet singh from Pixabay

10 thoughts on “Desiderata: Words for Life

  1. It is a beautiful path indeed, even among the noise there is always music ❤️ 🙏🏽 🦋

  2. I love this poem. Thanks for bringing it to my attention again!

    • Otrazhenie says:

      My late mother-in-law had a framed copy of this poem in her kitchen. Every time I hear this poem, it reminds me my wonderful mother-in-law. Such a deep and wise poem…

  3. spirited13 says:

    Love it! Thanks for sharing!

  4. rothpoetry says:

    I remember what this was a very popular quote back in my college days many years ago!

  5. Really these lines are the really words for life…With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.Be cheerful.Strive to be happy.
    I add my line to it… With all its sham, drudgery, Corona Pandamic, loosen hearts and broken dreams,
    it is still a beautiful world.Be cheerful.Strive to be happy…. Words for Life….

  6. I have this poem in my 12th grade syllabus and everytime I read this, I feel so good and empowered. Truly love this piece!❤️

  7. toritto says:

    Lovely and timely indeed. Best from Florida

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