Priscilla's Friends
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 agressive
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 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 that 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 God 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.

(From the Alt.Usage.English FAQ: "Desiderata" was written in 1927 by Max
Ehrmann (1872-1945). In 1956, the rector of St. Paul's Church in
Baltimore, Maryland, used the poem in a collection of mimeographed
inspirational material for his congregation.)

rowland @ johnmarkministries . org
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