Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Desiderata

The CEO posted a beautiful little movie that really got me. It reminded me of the Desiderata, a poem that I had to memorize in high school. I hope it brightens your Saturday.


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.



  • Hmm, I used to get chain e-mails containing stuff like this long ago, before I became more cynical and what people consider mature in a big bad world. It is still inspirational though!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At November 4, 2006 at 5:53 AM  

  • I had forgotten that. Thanks for posting it, it is a beautiful reminder.

    By Anonymous Just D, At November 4, 2006 at 7:17 AM  

  • Very inspirational. Like a solid piece of advice one would unfold out of their shoebox under the bed and reread to be reminded.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At November 4, 2006 at 8:06 AM  

  • Rano-
    I know, I know. I beg your indulgence for a little cheesiness!

    Just D-
    You remember it too! Isn't it great when you stumble across something old and meaningful?

    Exactly! I love the choppiness of it. It's almost like a list of items that you wrote down to remind yourself later on.

    By Blogger Crankster, At November 4, 2006 at 11:26 AM  

  • This is always a beautiful reminder of how to live ones life.

    Thank you.

    Is that a Bouvier in the photo with the mother and child? It's too small to make out distinctly, but I've had several
    and miss them all.

    By Blogger heartinsanfrancisco, At November 4, 2006 at 1:23 PM  

  • Crankster, I hope you didn't find my comment offensive. That was not my intention! I have realised the hard-way that world is not so rosy and nice as they teach in school. But I also know that everything has its place and its not exactly a deviously wicked world either. ;)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At November 4, 2006 at 1:49 PM  

  • Hearts-
    Actually, it's a bald-faced stalling technique that I'm using while I try to come up with nine unusual things about myself.

    It's Max, one of my Mother-in-law's Keeshounds, with my wife and daughter in Oregon.

    No offense taken. Actually, I felt a little silly posting this one, as it flies in the face of my own cynicism. However, its simplicity and almost list-like structure appeal to me. It doesn't promise a better world, but it gives me some hints about how to live peacefully in this one. I especially like the idea that peace, if it exists, largely exists within us.

    By Blogger Crankster, At November 4, 2006 at 3:08 PM  

  • In the early 1970s (see, I really am old; you are not), there was a recording that spoofed this; it got some good air time. I remember one of its platitudes was "rotate your tires," somberly intoned by the narrator with inspirational music. Irt was great.

    By Anonymous the Laughorist, At November 4, 2006 at 7:18 PM  

  • You do such beautifull work. I am so inspired by you.

    By Anonymous the ceo, At November 4, 2006 at 8:15 PM  

  • Laughorist-
    Sounds like a riot. Do you remember any more of it?

    Thanks for stopping by.

    I'm inspiring? Have you read your own blog lately? You impress the hell out of me.

    Besides, as my father-in-law once said, it's impossible to take a bad picture of the Oregon coast.

    By Blogger Crankster, At November 4, 2006 at 10:06 PM  

  • Awwww...that was nice! In our world of dripping sarcasm and glaring ironies, it's nice to see something simple and lovely.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At November 5, 2006 at 8:16 AM  

  • Nice poem, but OMG, you had to memorize that whole thing in high school?? Thank goodness I went to a slacker high school where our hardest task was smoking in the bathroom without getting caught. ;)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At November 5, 2006 at 5:32 PM  

  • Lee-
    That's exactly the excuse I use when I want to listen to John Denver. Nobody buys it.

    I can't tell you how much I envy you. Worst of all, I started memorizing it the night before. I got all the way to the "therefore, be at peace with God" section. Most of my classmates didn't get that far, so I was golden (Father Fitz graded on a curve).

    By Blogger Crankster, At November 5, 2006 at 5:42 PM  

  • Wow...I remember that and I chose to memorize it cause I loved it so much...just typified my "hippie" lifestyle....wish I could get back that old feeling again!!
    Thanks for sharing that!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At November 5, 2006 at 6:45 PM  

  • You memorized the whole thing? I'm impressed...

    By Blogger Crankster, At November 5, 2006 at 11:21 PM  

  • I am copying this and putting it up...absolutely...
    thank you.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At November 8, 2006 at 1:16 AM  

  • Thank you! It's always been one of my favorites.

    Thanks for visiting!

    By Blogger Crankster, At November 8, 2006 at 7:55 AM  

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