Max Ehrmann, 1927

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 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 with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful
world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Note: Although often said to have been found in Old St. Paul's
Church, Baltimore, and dated 1692, this poem was written by
attorney and businessman Max Ehrmann (1872-1945) of Terre
Haute, Indiana, in 1927. His widow, Bertha K. Ehrmann, renewed
the original copyright in 1954.
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