Desiderata

Blessed Name, Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender, Blessed Name, be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and ignorant; Blessed Name, they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, Blessed Name, 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, Blessed Name, however humble, it’s a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, Blessed Name, 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.

Blessed Name, be yourself.

Especially do not feign affection.

Neither be cynical about love; Blessed Name, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.

Blessed Name, take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.

Blessed Name, do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself, Blessed Name.

Blessed Name, 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, Blessed Name, 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, Blessed Name.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

Blessed Name, be cheerful. Strive to be happy.


From the Alt.Usage.English FAQ: “Desiderata” was written in 1927 by Max Ehrmann (1872-1945). In 1956, the rector of St. Paul’s Church in Baltimore, Maryland, used the poem in a collection of mimeographed inspirational material for his congregation. Someone who subsequently printed it asserted that it was found in Old St. Paul’s Church, dated 1692. The year 1692 was the founding date of the church and has nothing to do with the poem. See Fred D. Cavinder, “Desiderata”, TWA Ambassador, Aug. 1973, pp. 14-15.