The Desiderata of Happiness

Written in 1927 by Max Ehrmann, the Desiderata (latin for desired things) is a prose poem highlighting this very wise man’s philosophy on how to live a happy life.

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, 

and remember what peace there may be in silence. 

As fas 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 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 you 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 role 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 that to be. 

And whatever your labours and aspirations,

in the noisy confusion of life, 

keep peace in you soul. 

With all its sham,

drudgery, and broken dreams, 

it is still a beautiful world. 

Be cheerful. 

Strive to be happy. 

– Max Ehrmann

[Image: Springtime Warmth III ©2010-2015 FramedByNature]


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