Desiderata: Life is about You

I had an inspiring conversation with several people recently. There was one conversation in particular that developed to a point whereby we discussed the 1927 poem from Max Ehrmann “Desiderata”.


The world according to human beings is basically oriented on materialistic merits and always achieving more and more. This results in, among other things, us always wanting more and more. This may very well be a reason why we feel so separated and alone among ourselves, the world and in the universe. However we are children of the universe and nurtured into existence through life energy which has the capacity to become conscious of itself.

Strangely we have forgotten this and gone done a path that basically leads us further and further from the truth. This may be due to our level of object consciousness that is usually dominated by the mind.

A spiritually beneficial exercise is to become more and more aware of our conscious state of being. This will hopefully allow us to recognize that there is no true difference between, me, you, or any other object in the universe. We are one.


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.

P.S. I wish to thank Sandra for the reference to “Desiderata” during our conversation. I read the poem and watched the attached link video. This was a joyful reminder for me that we are a part of everything in the universe. Here is also a link for the Spanish video version of Desiderata.
Max Ehrmann


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