It’s been a while and a great deal has happened since I decided to record something for you – Coronavirus, the final severing of the UK from the EU, the end of Trump and the beginning of Biden – and it made me think of a book that I inherited from my mother. The book itself is tiny, filled with the most remarkable illustrations, and the name aroused my curiosity in the early 80s, shortly after I learned to read. The title of the book was Desiderata, the author Max Ehrmann, and the contents unforgettable. I’ve read the words a thousand times and a thousand times, the poem, for that is what it is, has given me hope, and today I’d love to pay it forward and share that with you.
You can listen here:
Desiderata by Max Ehrmann
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.
By Max Ehrmann © 1927
And that’s it!
This is the original text written by Max Ehrmann in 1927, and although the poem has a complex history of copyrighting, I believe that this is in the public domain and something that deserves sharing. For more information about the poem, I highly recommend popping over to Sherrie Lovler’s site, desierata.com.
On that note I shall bid you a fond farewell. Go well, stay well, see you soon