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Years ago, when I moved out of my parents’ home for university, my mom gave me a wall plaque for my dorm room. It was the Desiderata by Max Ehrmann. Since then it has become my favourite poem. I have read it a thousands times and it has traveled with me from one home to the next.
Over the years and through the challenges of life, Desiderata has become a mantra. Everyday a piece of this poem applies and has meaning. Regardless of the challenges life presents; be it with career, relationships with friends or lovers, uncertainty or fears of the unknown, this poem reminds us that life is beautiful and it brings a positive perspective to almost any situation.
For me, Desiderata brings hope and compassion to life when things feel less than perfect (we all have those moments). It reminds me that life doesn’t always bring us what we think we want, but rather what we need to grow. This poem has guarded my spirit in times when I was ready to give up on the wonderful possibilities of life, and I am grateful to my mom for presenting me with these inspiring words to live by. (Love you Mom!)
So without further ado, I share with you 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 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 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 cheerful. Strive to be happy.