I love poems, especially when they are musings about life. It is the way words are captured and expressed so poignantly that makes me a fan of poems.
I shared The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer here last year, as the poem had a profound impact on me- her writing was one of the main triggers behind my intent to being more vulnerable every single day. When I shared it, several people told me they hadn’t come across it and that they enjoyed reading it, because it had a profound impact on them.
Today, I want to share another of my favourite poems with you- one that calls for living truthfully in these extremely noisy, phony and bewildering times we live in. We have become accustomed to being easily vexed nowadays, approaching day to day situations with apprehension levels that are not normal, hiding and refusing to speak our truths because it goes against popular opinion, and suffering from high levels of exhaustion in the rat race we are caught up in. This is why I think that the words of this poem will do well in grounding you (hopefully), and remind you to focus on your existence in a healthy way.
It is such a popular poem, but I know that a lot of people haven’t come across it. If you do know this poem, please read it again as a reminder. But if you haven’t, I promise you, this will become your mini manual for life. So without wasting anymore time, here it is- the poem called DESIDERATA by Max Ehrmann. Enjoy!
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.
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.
Strive to be happy.
– Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, 1952
PS: You can check other poems/prayers by the same author here.
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