Desiderata for Our Times 026Go 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. 002Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. 003Avoid 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. 012Enjoy 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. 013Exercise 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. 017Be 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. 018Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. 021Nurture 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. 023Beyond 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. 030Therefore 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”


  1. these words are hung in an old timber frame on my toilet wall. It has been there for decades, my children have grown up with its wisdom; over the years we have memorised Desiderata, simply by reading and re-reading… we all know it by heart and have taken it to heart….this small room sometimes seems the only place of stillness in our crazy busy lives, where we have time to sit and ponder the wisdom and the simple, true, heart warming, life affirming words of this verse. Thank you for sharing and making me chuckle.

  2. Thank you for these words today, of all days. Today i received what would be called, “very bad news”. Although not unexpected, a few years ago, it would have caused unbelievable stress to me. Now, somewhat older and wiser, I realized that the universe was just unfolding as it should and it is not up to me to fight it but rather to adjust my desires to fit the facts.

    Just after receiving that news, I was attempting to set up a waterbed (which I’ve had for many years and love), when the waterbag split as I was filling it. My contractor had previously warned me not to put a waterbed in this very old house, and I guess the universe was just backing up his advice! So, rather than fight the issue, I ordered a foam mattress instead of the new waterbed sheets that I had ordered yesterday (and which, it turned out, were out of stock).

    Now, reading your words from “Desiderata”, I feel comforted in knowing that i made the right decisions. While I’ll have to wait somewhat longer before having my first good night’s sleep in my new (very old) home, it will be worth it!

    Thanks again, Collette!

    • I’m glad you too appreciate the Desiderata, for it is a favourite poem of mine…wise words and wisdom are important in these strange, uncertain times we are in!
      Blessings X

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