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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Be Cheerful

Max Ehrmann


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.

I found a copy of this poem in my wardrobe. I had written it out in a letter for a friend but never got round to posting it. I'm kinda glad I didn't though as I'd have forgotten about it for another 10 years and it's too good a poem to be forgotten. I'm not a particularly religious person but that's why I like the line "Therefore, be at peace with God, Whatever you conceive Him to be". I guess I like it because it's good advice for life in general, especially the last line "Be cheerful, Strive to be happy".


Anonymous said...

and get up in time to say goodbye. xxxxx

Anonymous said...

Now you've sent me off to Google and Wikipedia to find who out did the musical version of this - called Child of the Universe - in the 1970's. I remember hearing it in my teens. And it's even on spotify. I've just listened to it and it's hilarious and sad at the same time, mainly because it's so American I suppose.

Anyway here's some of Gravy and his band Cheesecake:

which I hope will make you smile.

love, Paul - who is still hung over and tired and should be in bed.

hootchinhannah said...

LOL sorry dad, I've been sleeping for Ireland these days. I should've set an alarm!

And Paul, I must check this out. And Gravy's band. I didn't know he was on myspace. The dirty dawg! Cheers for sending the link.