Friday, January 27, 2006

My aspirations

My dad first gave me a copy of the Desiderata when I was eight years old and I've used it as a guideline in my life ever since.
I gave up on organized religion years ago and made peace with myself, I figured that if I can learn to do these things that Max so eloquently lays out for us here, everything else will work itself out in the end.
I hope you enjoy it.


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.


Anonymous allison said...

Hey there...I love this poem. And I just responded with this over at my place: Just wanted you to know, because I really appreciated your input. And I was typing fast, so I hope I'm clear...

Awesome Andria. Really. And I’d dead on with you in the idea that there are those that hide behind religion. In fact, I hate that word for the very idea that it alone has become a dirty word. Religion is dead, to me. Trying my damndest to live my faith is what I strive for. And that does not include lookng down my nose at anyone, for any reason. Looking down noses should never be done by anyone. I think that is different from discerning something for yourself. We all discern, and make choices based on that every day. And there absolutely are cases, and yours seems to maybe be one, where the best thing is not the “ideal”. The “ideal” is not IDEAL. And maybe even extremely harmful. In many ways, I’m talking about a la-la land, where the goodness of ideals would be available to everyone, which of course, is not possible, and sometimes not even desired. So we all must do the best we can with what we’ve got, and love eachother through it all. I also agree with your point on infidelity. Personally, I find it a maturity issue. But that’s my opinion. And, whether or not we ascribe to a certain faith, we are almost always all better for living through something “dirty”, or painful, or difficult. That is what helps make us who we are, and hopefully, more compassionate people. If life doesn’t get messy, then we really don’t learn much. To me, at least. Anyway, thanks for the input. I’m following this so closely I haven’t eaten since this morning! How lame am I?

2:46 PM  
Blogger Andria said...


For all other comments please see allison's site.

I'm just not smart enough to try and have a conversation over three different sites! :-)

(The Queen of Spain is also in on it at )

3:38 PM  
Blogger Dubs said...

Awesome poem girl. May I post it and give you the credit? It's really great. My husband will appreciate it too. He's mushy like that lOL..... especially with all we're going through. Thanks.

6:23 PM  
Blogger Andria said...

Feel free to pass it along, but make sure you give Max the credit... he wrote it back in the 50's, not me. (I wish I was creative enough!!)

When I was going through my divorce the phrase about the universe unfolding as it should brought me comfort. I hope it does the same for you too.

Thanks for stopping by and best wishes to you and your family.

6:51 PM  
Blogger Holly said...

Very good debate, and very good input Andria. I am a liberal Christian, (note - NOT of the "religious" sort though...) and so I found myself nodding in agreement to BOTH sides at various times.

10:40 PM  

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