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Desiderata

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 pos­s­e­sion in the chang­ing future 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 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 labours 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 care­ful. Strive to be hap­py.

Max Ehrmann, 1927