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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Trying to Live By This Creed


Go placidly amid the noise and the 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 vexatious 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 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, Desiderata

When I was a little kid my mom had this hanging in our one bathroom. I have grown up reading this poem and it has always spoken to me. Except the part about Taking Kindly to the Council of the Years. I do not subscribe calmly to that part. But the rest I like a lot. When life seems a little hectic or untethered, I go back to my mom's bathroom, yes she still has this hanging in front of the potty, and I read it a few times over. At different times, different parts of the poem jump out at me. 

I love this and really need to get one of my own. I probably won't hang it in my bathroom although it seems to touch many who frequent my mom's. Aww heck, maybe I will hang it in my bathroom. Think I can get the mean girl in my life to read it? She really, really, really needs to. Maybe I will leave it for her to find.


  1. Hang it where you can read it each day. I've read it before and think I'd like one for myself indeed. This and the serendipity prayer help me.

  2. Ha! I never thought of putting inspirational reading in the bathroom, Heather (though I do put favorite artwork there)! Regarding the last stanza, I've always thought that if we just stopped focusing on ourselves and looked outward instead at the beauty of the world, everything else would fall into place.

  3. I love it and want one in my bathroom!

  4. I like it! Thanks for sharing!

  5. You could look at hanging it in the bathroom as just a different interpretation of "take kindly the counsel of the years" because it seems to have worked out pretty well for your mom. Or you could hang it on that new egg fridge.

  6. Those are wise words to live by. I think I need three copies for each of my boys and one more for all the bathrooms . Thanks for sharing that is a good one :)

  7. Don't they say the bathroom is the reading room? If I ever want my husband to read an article I leave it in the reading room.

    I love the Desiderata, it was very popular when I was in high school. Good words to ponder and live.

  8. Heather,
    Teenagers are fun,(!!?) aren't they? (((hugs))) to you, I feel your pain.

    Thanks for sharing the Desiderata. It is pure wisdom we can all apply to every aspect of our live. Easier said than done, though.


  9. Hi Heather~~ It's beautiful. Inspirational without being overtly-religious or preachy. With the holidays on the horizon, maybe you can type it out, get a dollar store frame, wrap it and give it anonymously to the mean girl. Life is too short to put up with their crap! LOL

  10. It's amazing how things we had during our childhood jump out at us in later years. I enjoyed the poem you shared. It has a lot of great wisdom involved in it. I can see why it has touched you in so many different ways. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Rosey, thanks for the virtual hugs. My daughter would be so easy if only it were her that was the problem. This is worse, like workforce worse. But what can you do.... just smile and kill her with kindness. Someday she'll figure it out.

    Grace- I love it too for many reasons but mainly because it doens't ask of you to stretch your belief into something they are not, just to embrace what you already feel. For me it's just nicer (word?)

  12. It's lovely. I think the bathroom would be a great place to hang it! You can almost guarentee it will be read - and even be given pause for thought - if it's hung in the right place!

  13. Thank you, Heather. I needed this today.

  14. I have always loved the Desiderata, Heather and am so glad you posted this~~It's one of those pieces of writing that we need to read often, so maybe the bathroom is a good spot! gail

  15. I hadn't read this for years!, so good to read it again. We call the bathroom the "library".

  16. Heather, Wisdom is refreshing, thank you for sharing this perennial gem.

  17. Thanks Heather, a great way to start the day!

  18. We do like to 'read' in! Very good words to live by, actually!

  19. Hi Heather - just stopped by to say hi, and you have my favorite poem as a post. Glad I did stop by! Happy Thanksgiving! Jeanne (Seven Oaks)

  20. Hi Heather, I've just awarded you the Honest Scrap Award. If you've already received it, well, here it is again. Stop by to copy the graphic to paste on your website. Or just stop by to say Hi.

  21. I've never seen this poem in its entirety before. Very thought provoking.

    I have just awarded you a Best Blog Award. If you want to visit and read more it is here.

    I have just seen that someone else has also given you another award!

  22. Heather,

    Thanks, that was just what I needed today!

    Christine B.

  23. Heather ... oh, Heather ... where are you? I know you're in a winter slump, but I miss your posts. We'll take a snow shot, or a chicken, or a donkey, or, hell, even a shot of your put-up veggies ... anything ... just let us know that you're still out there.

    Thank you,

    Your loyal readership


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We started this blog in Feb. of 2009 to help us stay motivated and to track our progess in the garden. We live on 5 acres surrounded by Idaho farmland. We have wildlife galore and are attempting to attract more in the bird catagory. This is our journal. Welcome!


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