Alice finds the poem Desiderata

I was going through more old papers and I managed to track down the poem for Desiderata.  I had always believed it was anonymous, but reportedly written in the 1600’s.  But I have also heard that Desiderata was copyrighted in the 1920’s by lawyer Max Ehrmann.  There is a gorgeous video on Desiderata that is worth checking out if you have time.  You will find it if you do a search on youtube for RevMCDDD.


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 to 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 perennial as the grass.

Take kindly to 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 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 c.1920


Published by Alice Letts

Online training for parents and children. Online piano and music tutoring. Online tutoring for English as a Second Language (ESOL) with an emphasis on pronunciation. Online meditation coaching for parents and how to incorporate meditation into daily family life.

2 thoughts on “Alice finds the poem Desiderata

  1. Lovely to see that you found my video, Alice – I’ve been really heartened by all the kind comments folk have posted there, on YouTube, and now I see my work has even been mentioned in your blog… wonderful!
    I’ve been exploring your fascinating blog a little, and I see that you’ve been to quite a few places in the UK; but you don’t appear to have visited Wales, yet (which is where I currently live). If you ever manage to get over to Blighty again, maybe you’ll be able to visit us, too? 🙂
    Malcolm (the Rev).


  2. Thanks Malcolm!
    Yes I made it to Wales in 2006 but never managed it since. Have been planning to for sometime, but never quite got around to it. Too many places I want to go to. Far too many that I’ve never seen yet. A difficult task indeed, but a fun one 😉


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