Desidarata by Max Ehrmann

by Elmarie Swartz
(South Africa)

Child of the Universe

Child of the Universe

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 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,

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 and 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 to affection.

Neither be cynical about Love; for in the face all aridity

and disenchantment, in is perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the Council 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 borne 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, what ever you conceive him to be.

And what ever your labours 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 careful.

Strive to be happy.

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