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 (1952)