One of my favorite poems of all time….
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 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 critical 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 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 careful. Strive to be happy.
© Max Ehrmann 1927
I believe this poem provides excellent wisdom about how we should live our lives. We live in a fast paced world full of pressure and stress where people feel overwhelmed. Some people chase dreams for the wrong reasons, lose perspective on sportsmanship and competition, fail to see the value in themselves and others, and are too critical.
The words speak for themselves so I don’t need to elaborate much; however I would like to share a few insights.
Quiet time is good. We are better able to absorb information, feelings, and perspectives when we are calm.
Do not define your value through comparison to others. The greatest rewards should stem from self improvement and personal growth, not based on keeping score against others.
You matter! Take satisfaction in the role you play for your family, your place of work, and your community. The world needs you and is better because of your contributions.
People in the world are generally good, loving, and honest. There are bad people as well so you have to be careful. But don’t let the bad people rob you of the joy you experience with good people.
Love can hurt but the joy is worth the risk. If you get hurt, time will heal the pain.
Be gentle with yourself for you are a child of the universe. The world is unfolding as it should – Yes, mistakes are a part of this world. Everyone makes mistakes because we are human. Learn what you can and try to do better next time but don’t beat yourself up. God loves you and He wants you to keep giving your best effort.
Work hard, set high goals, do your best, and be accepting of the consequences. Your effort, your intent, and your sincerity make the world a better place.
Success is being proud of your best effort, regardless of its result.