My dear friend Jacques sent me this text he had just discovered, and my heart jumped.  I had read those words before.  In fact many times. My mom had decided that it was good meditation material for that special time spent in the bathroom, and had framed it when I was a teenager.

As they say, repetition is the key of learning, and reading this piece of wisdom over and over started a nice change in my awareness, in my way of see and experiencing life. Slowly, I’ve made changes in my consciousness to live according to those words.  I took many years.

May you be touched by these words.



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 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 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 critical 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 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 careful. Strive to be happy.

© Max Ehrmann 1927

3 thoughts on “Desiderata

  1. Always a pleasure to read this particular verse, Chnatelle, and I too have seen in on many bathroom doors!

    Enjoy the journey.


  2. Hi Chantal

    I’ve had a copy of Desiderata in it’s original form, wherever I’ve lived. When I start to lose direction, I refer to it for guidance.

    More recently, I rewrote it to a simpler English version for my three little girls 6,9 and 11.

    We sat down and discussed what it means, and they totally get it.

    Unfortunately, their mother thinks it’s “hippy rubbish”.

    But we know better, don’t we?


  3. Keep instilling wisdom in their minds. I’m not surprised that they get it. Kids nowadays are much wiser then I was at there age. And with a great dad like you they might remember sooner than us that they are souls more than they are humans. Keep up the great work!

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