Desiderata of Happiness

After just watching Morgan Freeman on Oprah’s ‘Master Class’ and hearing him mention some of the lines in this poem, I had to take time to read it in its entirety. Reminds me of Mother Teresa’s ‘Do Good Anyway.’ Wise words from open hearts. ‘Be gentle with yourself’… that line. Another poem comes to mind, Mary Oliver’s ‘Wild Geese’ in which she begins with the line: ‘You do not have to be good.‘ 

Go placidly amidst 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 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 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


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Inspiring fiery passion through soul connection. Lover, Seducer, Awakener, Firestarter, Visionary. #kissingthesacred

17 thoughts on “Desiderata of Happiness”

  1. This is my first read on this site. How very refreshing! I was also introduced to the desiderata in the late 60’s. Everyone had a poster (black light or otherwise) but the author was ” Anon.” as I remember. There was also a lovely story about where the text was discovered in an old church basement, addressed to someones offspring…all very romanticly mysterious. Now I see that there is an author that we can thank for the gentle and precise words of encouragement. Back then its appeal was great for those who were searching out the meaning of life and their purpose. Now I find it just as appealing as I continue what age reveals is “the neverending quest.” Isn’t it great to find something that stands the test of time and remains so relevant to such a wide audience?

    1. Thank you for sharing your post on Happiness. I find your words to be so very true: ‘to many of us the hope of happiness is to spend more time treating the happiness of others than we tend to our own….’

      Time to honor the voice within….and to let THAT happiness overflow into our interaction with others. xo

  2. one of my all time favourites. In the 70s it seemed you saw this everywhere, now it may be making a comeback. Interesting how a lot of ‘things’ from the 70s are re-appearing. Something astrologically the same so I’m told.
    walk in beauty.

    1. Perhaps it is. I just watched something recently – although I can’t at the moment recall what it was – that reminded me of the energy from that time in our history. Interesting to watch as the cycle of history repeats herself – and to observe what we have learned and how we’ve evolved along the way. Love to you, Joss. xo

      1. a friend of mine was telling me that an astrologist friend of hers says that the planets are aligned very similar to the way they were in the 70s. His prediction though is that there is much more power and energy available this time.It does make me feel very at home and very excited to be here at this time.

        1. I believe that prediction. Although I don’t recall what was happening in the 70’s since I was just a little girl, looking back and seeing that time in our history – I can only imagine what lies in store for us. Opening, healing, releasing, powerful energy of evolving. I’m thrilled to be alive at this time, in this place and walking this earth with others who share the dream and vision. xoxo

    1. Been thinking of you, my friend. Hope all is well.

      Loved this so much when I read it, felt only right to pass it on…..only to realize so many others were already in tune with its message. Ah, the circle of connection. xo

  3. I first read this poem when I was around 16 years old and I loved it even if at the time I didn’t get the full meaning of the poem’s message. It’s a classic!

    BTW, I am confused, I thought I was following you and just realized I am not. Have subscribed and will be catching up with your blog. 🙂

    1. This poem was brand new to me the day I posted it. Isn’t it amazing when something touches us and we then realize its longstanding wisdom and peace? Delighted to be connected with you….love to read your loving posts. xox

I always love to hear your thoughts....xx

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