Saturday, 14 August 2010


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.

An ex-student of mine shared this poem with me very recently. He said his dad had shared it with him years ago when he was a child. I like it very much and thought I would share it with you.

It is cold, dull and terribly wet here in Birmingham this morning. It’s been raining all night. I hope it is much brighter and warmer where you are, friends.

Have a wonderful weekend.


  1. It's good to take a moment to reflect on who we are and where we're going.

    I am Clair and I am going to the washing line to rescue the washing from the wind!

  2. LOL! You can tell we are mums, Clair ... it's all about the washing!

    I am Ady and I am going to spend an hour in the local laundrette using their driers as I have 2 huge loads of washing that I have nowhere to hang because of the rain.

  3. I am Abdul and I am going to the local laundromat to do my laundry as I do not have a UK-styled combo washing machine and I refuse to buy two separate units.

    I do not have kids-yet!

  4. LOL Abdul! Thanks for sharing the poem with me.

  5. Wow, thank you for sharing this poem. I read it when I was very young and had forgotten all but the next to next to last line - "With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,it is still a beautiful world." It's wonderful to read the whole thing as an adult, and find that it is still so inspiring to me.


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