When I was a teenager, I discovered this poem on a poster. I felt (and still strongly feel) that this poem describes the person I want to be, the way I want to live my life. I very much love this poem and wanted to share it with all of you. I feel so good when I read it. (“Desiderata” means “desired things” in Latin.)


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.

photo borrowed from The American Academy of Family Physicians



Filed under Life, Seeking, Spirituality

6 responses to “Desiderata

  1. “what peace there may be in silence.” What a great line

  2. seb

    What a beautiful poem. A lot of these things that are said in the poem are like golden truths. I really like it, I think I need to write this one down and post it on my door of inspiration (the door where I put up inspiring quotes and such things!).

  3. I love this poem, it says so much! This is a great guideline for us all to live by. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Love it. Thanks for sharing. I especially like this:
    “for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself”

  5. I’m glad you guys enjoyed this. Like I said, it gives me a good feeling when I read it.

  6. Sarah

    gosh its amazing what comes to you when you are open to the universe…….
    this website has helped me with a lot of issues Im currently dealing with…..

    ohm mani padme hung

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