Pages Navigation Menu

All Things Q Related

The Desiderata and Dealing With All This Heady Stuff

by TooAwakeToGoBack

Among all the incredible good and bad things we are learning and discussing each day, I often pick up on fears, worry and concerns. Not unfounded, of course.

What works best for me during trying times is relying on words of wisdom from others much more intelligent than me (or is it I?). Anyway, my favorite go-to is the “The Desiderata” by Max Ehrmann. Many, I am sure have already read it. When you do, read it slowly. Digest it and re-read it often. It’s always on my wall for quick reference.


The 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 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.

Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952


I like to analyze it. For instance, the line: “As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.”

What does that mean? What does that mean to you? Where do you draw your “surrender” line?

My favorite line:

“And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.”

Which by the way does not mean sit back and do nothing. Rather to me, it means if my life ends trying to make this a better place for my little one, well then that is exactly what is supposed to happen. I’m comfortable with that. I don’t wish to sound too dramatic, but you get the point.

At the end of the day it’s just a poem, and a damn powerful one! Maybe it will help you or someone you love.

Leave a Comment

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share This

Share this post with your friends!