Thursday, June 2, 2011

Go placidly amid the noise and haste ...

"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 or 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.

Written in 1927, by Max Ehrmann (1872-1945), also referred to as the “Desiredata Poem”.


  1. Oh I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE this poem. My parents had a really worn out copy of this, beige writing on a black sheet of chart paper... every time I read it, it gave me goosebumps. I think I have to make a print for myself now. Thank you for posting this.

  2. One of my earliest and sincerest students, Gauri Sarang, from the Symbiosis Institute of Journalism & Communication (SIJC), Pune, who is currently studying in Bonn, Germany, shares her experiences with this "lovely, lovely" poem. Below, with her permission, I am copying out her comment, which was sent to me by email:


    Dear Mr. Pinto,

    Thank you for sharing this poem.

    I remember reading it at a cousin's somewhere in the early 1990s. It was a poster with a large Gerbera in the background and the poem was printed across the flower.

    Of course, back then I did not realize its significance, save for the tranquilizing grace it conjured in my mind.

    And then, around two years ago, when I did a presentation for a history class ("1968: The year that was") I used it again. This time with some knowledge of its (a)political stance. It's a lovely, lovely poem and thank you, yet again, for sharing it.


    Gauri Sarang.


    Thank you, my dear Gauri.

    I hope others will also share their experiences, feelings and thoughts about this poem.

    Peace and love,
    - Joe.

  3. Just can't stop reading this over and over again.

  4. My dear Daisy,

    This poem is a "perennial" or "evergreen". Because we keep changing over the years; our ways of seeing and listening also mature, we find new meaning in this poem -- when we read it over and over again.

    I hope you will find time to read the other pieces in this source blog and comment upon them.

    Peace and love,
    - Joe.