Poems and Prose

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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 vexatious 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

Keep interested in your own career however humble; it is a real
posession 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 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.

Max Ehrmann - 1927