I recently shared Max Ehrmann’s timeless piece, the Desiderata, on two occasions. The first was as a parting prayer to close the very last classes in my yoga studio, and the second was as a Christmas gift to the guys at the the Rehabilitation Community. Again, I read it at the end of the class and gave everyone a copy. Some people had heard it before, but for many it was the first time. It seems that because of the truths contained and it’s frank advice, it always reads as new. It touches on our strengths and vulnerabilites as human beings, and seems as relevant today as it was when written in 1927. I find that, reading it from time to time, there’s always a particular line that leaps out and connects most strongly, and this changes depending on whatever might be happening at that given time.
So here it is for you, and I hope you find that something in it is just right, right now. Please print it out, share it, and read it out loud.
Desiderata by Max Ehrmann, 1927 – with Free Printable
Go placidly amid the noise and the 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 vexatious 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 in 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”, 1927
Click to download the PDF of the Desiderata, along with the other Paleomantic Free Printables.
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