Desiderata by Max Ehrmann

Desiderata is the plural for Desideratum which is a Latin word, it means, “things that are needed or wanted”. This prose poem was published in 1972. Through this poem, Ehrmann portrays beauty in silence and peace. The poem gives you hope that even though things may seem to be going the wrong way, do not lose hope, believe in yourself. You belong to this place as much as everyone, as much as the plants, the trees.

Ehrmann asks you to believe in the power of silence and truth, he asks you to listen to everybody as everybody has a story to tell which could inspire you. Do not compare yourself with others and avoid those people who are aggressive. Always believe in your dreams, your goals and work towards them constantly. Believe in love, true love does fade away, it stays forever like grass.

As we grow, we learn, we gain experience, that is why we must believe in the teachings of elders as they have more experience than us. Sometimes, in life, we might find it difficult to deal with our problems, our mind might lead us to believe that we are not capable of certain things, but do not lose hope, and most importantly don’t be harsh on ourselves. Work on your inner self, strive towards happiness, peace of mind.

“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 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 with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.”