Initial Thoughts on the Desiderata
Today the Desiderata popped into my head so I thought that I’d present it here and see what lessons we can learn. I’m not sure if you have heard of the Desiderata before, but it’s a poem written by Max Ehrmann, who was a poet and lawyer who lived from 1872 to 1945.
According to Wikipedia:
“Largely unknown in the author’s lifetime, the text became widely known after its use in devotional and spoken-word recordings in 1971 and 1972.”
The poem, written in the 1920s is a lesson in life and it’s very hopeful. When I read the Desiderata, I wondered why Ehrmann wrote this poem? What was going on in his life at that time? What did he hope to achieve from writing it?
What I have read suggests that Ehrmann wrote The Desiderata because
“I should like, if I could, to leave a humble gift — a bit of chaste prose that had caught up some noble moods.”
Though this poem was written decades ago, after you’ve read it, you’ll agree that it is still applicable today.
Have you read?
UPDATE: First Published in April 2010
Desiderata by Max Ehrmann
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.
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.
Strive to be happy.
Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.
Desiderata Meaning: 11 Lessons from the Desiderata
How does this poem make you feel? What lessons can you glean from it? The Desiderata’s meaning in intertwined with the ll lessons that I gleaned from this timeless classic:
- Silence can be golden
- Learn to get along with others (be likable)
- Enjoy your achievements
- Conduct due diligence
- Be gentle with yourself
- Let go of cynicism
- Be fearless
- Be at peace
- There is beauty everywhere
- Strive to be happy
Above are 11 lessons that I picked out from the Desiderata poem. But I read it again slowly and carefully and I asked myself if the Desiderata has any hidden meaning. I don’t know if there is a hidden meaning, but I think the poem is telling you to be fully human. All of the lessons above are elements of what it means to be fully human. The moral of the poem is to work towards becoming fully human.
Final Thoughts on the Desiderata
Which of the lessons do you need to learn? For me I need to learn to be gentler on myself as well as to enjoy my accomplishments. Did you like YouTube video? One of these posters will make a great gift!
- Desiderata (oftasteanddiscernment.wordpress.com)
Avil’s Side Hustle to Help You to Get the Most Out of Your Readin