I’m sure everybody’s getting a bit sick of all the food posts so today, I would like to share with you this poem by Max Ehrmann (in the 1920s) that has been some sort of a guiding light for me over the years.
In the early 70s, during the hippie or flower power era, it was available in the form of psychedelic posters that people would hang on the wall of their room or house…and if they switch on the ultra-violet light, the poster would glow in the dark.
Other than that, it was trendy then to learn the poem by heart and be able to quote lines from it when the opportunity arose.
An American DJ, Les Crane, made a recording of himself reciting the poem and it received a lot of air play on Radio Singapore at the time (1973). You can click the link to listen to it if you have never heard it before…but I’m sure you must have seen it on plaques or scrolls on sale at churches and religious article shops.
Anyway, if you have never seen it before, the poem goes like this:
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 the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
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 the world is full of trickery. But let not this 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 labours 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.
Very wise and sound advice, don’t you think? Perhaps you would like your life to be prescribed by it too?