Friday, February 15, 2008

Go placidly amid the noise and haste...

Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.
--Arthur Somers Roche (1883-1935) writer

My favorite response to these destructive streams of worry is to find an actual stream like the one above and allow its serenity and solitude to remind me to keep things in perspective, that "the universe is unfolding as it should." I get that line from a well known motivational piece entitled Desiderata (latin for 'desired things'). I'm not sure who first introduced this to me, but I memorized this while in college -- and am grateful for its timeless advice...


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 to 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 perennial as the grass.

Take kindly to 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 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 (1872-1945) lawyer and author


  1. I love it.....very true words for a very true world.....would be a nice thing to remember from time to time......

  2. I'm old enough to remember this being a radio hit in the 1970's.

    Thanks to your reminder, I visited YouTube and found more than one video version, including this one with scenes of NYC Central Park.



  3. Thanks for the comments and for the link, Jim!


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