Max Ehrmann, a poet and lawyer from Terre Haute, Indiana, lived from 1872 to 1945.
It has been reported that Desiderata was inspired by an urge that Ehrmann wrote about in his diary:
“I should like, if I could, to leave a humble gift – a bit of chaste prose that had caught up some noble moods”.
You should also enjoy the poem The Invitation (and its two videos) here.
Plus, here is a PDF of Desiderata, for you to keep or share.
Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and…
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.
If you compare yourself to 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.
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,
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
It is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
If you’re interested in looking through physical posters of this poem, you will like looking through this collection.