Go Placidly
Desiderata (An Excerpt)
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The pictures on this page were all taken in Pennsylvania, many of
them in Lancaster County, a few in Gettysburg National Military
Park and one in Valley Forge National Historical Park.
-- Max Ehrmann (1872 - 1945)
Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and
lesser persons than yourself.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly and listen to others.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
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.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in 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;
WIth all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.  Strive to be happy.
and whatever your labors and aspirations
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace with your soul.
in a compilation of devotionals.  The date of the
church's founding (1692) was included in the
booklet and, for that reason, the date of
"Desiderata's" authorship was (and still is) widely
mistaken as having been written in the 1600's.
It became famous worldwide in the 1970's, when
a spoken word recording of it rose to #8 on the
Billboard chart in the U.S. (#4 in Canada and
#6 in the United Kingdom).
In 2010, in Mr. Ehrmann's hometown of Terre
Haute, Indiana, a statue of the writer, sitting on
a bench, pen and notebook in hand, was placed
in a small park where he often went to write.
You can read the full text of "Desiderata",
as well as other poems and prose
by Max Ehrmann,
Max Ehrmann, an American writer and attorney,
died in 1945, never knowing how popular his prose
poem, "Desiderata," would eventually become.  In
1956, the rector of a church in Maryland used the
piece, which was still largely unknown at the time,