This morning I wanted to share one of my very favorite poems with you, called the Desiderata. It was written more than 50 years ago by a man named Max Erhmann. If this sounds familiar as you’re reading it, this was turned into a recording and was quite popular on the radio in 1971. I just purchased the recording on iTunes this morning.
This powerful little poem was the inspiration behind our Today’s Brilliance on InspireMeToday.com. As you know, each day we ask a new Inspirational Luminary, “If today were your last day and you had 500 words to share with humanity, what would you say? What have you learned that you’d want to share?”
I believe that the Desiderata would have been Max Ehrmann’s Today’s Brilliance. So, I share it with you here and invite you to write your own 500 words. Don’t worry if it’s not as eloquent as this poem- what matters is that you write it for yourself. If you’re anything like me, it will bring up all kinds of things for you- in a really good way. If you do decide you’d like to share it, please post it below. I’d love to see hundreds of them posted here!
But for now, go enjoy the wisdom of Max Erhmann and the Desiderata and be inspired.
With love and hugs,
– by 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 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 perennial as the grass.
Take kindly to 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 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 in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.