Tag Archives: Max Ehrmann


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 to the dull and 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.

— Desiderata, Max Ehrmann, 1926  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Ehrmann


Desiderata is Latin and has been interpreted as “Things to be Desired” or “Things Desired As Essential.”  http://www.fleurdelis.com/desidera.htm

History: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desiderata


To be without desire is to be content. But contentment is not happiness. And in contentment there is no progress. Happiness is to desire something, to work for it, and to obtain at least a part of it. In the pursuit of beloved labor the busy days pass cheerfully employed, and the still nights in peaceful sleep.

For labor born of desire is not drudgerey, but manly play. Success brings hope, hope inspires fresh desire, and desire gives zest to life and joy to labor. This is true whether your days be spent in the palaces of the powerful or in some little green byway of the world.

Therefore, while yet you have the strength, cherish a desire to do some useful work in your little corner of the world, and have the steadfastness to labor. For this is the way to the happy life; with health and endearing ties, it is the way to the glorious life.

Max Ehrmann
1872 – 1945

I Go My Way

All round is haste, confusion, noise.
For power and wealth men stretch the day
From dawn till dusk.
But quietly I go my way.

For glitter, show, to taunt the crowd,
Desire-tossed in wild dismay,
Men sell their souls.
But quietly I go my way.

The green of all the fields is mine;
The stars, the night, the wind at play,
A peaceful heart, while quietly
I go my way.

Max Ehrmann