Sunday, October 18, 2009


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


  1. I read your comment on Losing Waist's blog about going back to school. I just wanted to give you kudos and let you know that it is inspiring to me. Someday, I will finish college (I'm already 40). I appreciate that we are all on our own time tables.

    I really liked your post here today. It is some wonderful wisdom.

  2. Love it Katie. What an eloquent reminder of things that all of us should remember. Humility, peace with God and ourselves, and a quiet and gentle spirit are qualities that I am trying to grow in my life.

  3. I have not read this recently.

    I needed the reminder and a PERFECT way to launch my week.


  4. An awesome poem. I think, in the nature of the blogosphere and weight-loss, the section on comparisons is especially poignant.
    It is interesting to know that Max Ehrmann wrote this at age 54 and it became well known only after his death (an artist's fate?). I read a quick bio of him and he seems to have been an interesting fellow.
    Thanks for sharing this with me Katie. I will probably come to use it too.


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