WAHM Reflections

Max Ehrmann’s 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.

It feels like it was just yesterday when I was reciting this poem in High School.

Funny after all the things that happened in my life, I can still recite the first two paragraphs of this poem at that top of my head. It’s ironic ‘coz the people who know are aware how forgetful I am!

I don’t know what type of sorcery this poem has brought me back in my HS days but I’m happy it’s still in my memory even up to now.

How did it happen? I don’t know. There are only a few memories I can remember when I was in high school. Gladly though, this poem is one of them. At least, hindi lahat kalokohan, oh, ‘di ba? haha!

Every once in a while, my mind recites the first two paragraphs. Sometimes, out of nowhere, I just remember it. The best thing about it? It happens mostly when I am thinking.

There’s peace in silence. Even the dull people have their own stories to tell. Experience is the best teacher. We all have the right to be in this world, no one should feel useless. Say what you wanna say – with tact. Give reverence to God. In spite of all of its imperfections, it is still a beautiful world. Do your best to be happy.

It’s such a wonderful reminder, isn’t it? Not that I perfected these but I am a work in progress. Every day is a challenge to be better.

0 Replies to “Max Ehrmann’s Desiderata”

  1. I also memorized this poem when I was in High School. Pero bakit hindi ko na siya memorize ngayon, signs of aging na ba ito. hehehe! But this poem has so many life lessons.

  2. I love this poem. It's such a perfect reminder of how to live life. It's actually perfect for this time that another year is ending and a new one is about to begin. Maraming nagmumuni-muni. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I remember this poem. It was on my grandparent's house I think, along with Rizal's poems. =) I like this part most:
    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.


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