Wednesday, November 09, 2011



Go placidly amid the noise and the 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 vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
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, 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 in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann

My paternal Grandma had a copy of this on the back door of her loo, so I grew up reading it over and over again, whenever I visited her and the loo!  I have my own copy now - somewhere - I must put it up on my inspiration board.  It never fails to make me take a deep breath in and out and relax about my state of affairs. I think it grounds me.  I never heard Grandma utter a bad word about anyone, and she seemed so at home in her own skin - a smile and a funny quip were constantly forthcoming too.  She was a gem or as someone said at her funeral - "a national treasure". Oh Thelly May - so many admiral qualities - thanks for the Desiderata legacy - you did always manage to ground me!  Oh and she made the best Green Tomato Pickles EVER!!!

(Where did this post come from?  A work colleague and I were talking today about philosophies and sayings etc and it just occured to me how much Desiderata had been a part of my life, so I just thought I'd share)

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