Friday, June 03, 2005


On a recent visit to my dentist, I re-read this poem at her waiting area. I sniggered inside... wondered whether it made her patients more relaxed and thus able to take in the irritatingly high pitched "ngggeee"s that came out of the consultation room.

But it's a good poem, so much so that I have since made a print and pasted it in my office. And to all of us who frequently face crappy situations at work, home or whatever, may you find this poem purposeful.

Enjoy. ;)

Written by Max Ehrmann, 1920s.

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 the 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 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 with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.


exfbonnie said...

I really like this poem. I need to give it to my husband.

Linda said...

the poem is great! very well written. like the 4th stanza.

5xmom ~chanlilian.net~ said...

Just remember something. My dentist put a cross-stitch of 'In my Father's home, there are many rooms.....' I wonder if she expects her patients to take comfort that should they got scared to death on her dentist chair, they have 'rooms' waiting up there. Hahaha.

Nice poem, btw.

dizzyguy73 said...

my dentist, she have many stars & moons hung on d ceiling. Clearly visible if one were to lay down. She expect her patience to sleep instead of "open widerrrr widerrrrrrrrrr".

atiza said...

i put that in my blog about a few months back..a nice poem indeed.

minishorts said...

sniff. so nice.


mumsgather said...

My dentist sings as she works!
How about enjoying the desiderata with some music and pics here.

Belacan said...

exfbonnie: or punk rock momma? thanks for dropping by. and thanks to you, i went to a few soldiers blogs, and CB's too. very enlightening to me here.

linda: yup, and it was written in the 1920s. written from the heart, no less.

Lilian: that's ok. you better panic when he puts up plans for his house's renovation! alamak! naik harga liao ;)

dizzy: at least she didn't put pics of FOOD! salivate salivate... ;)

atiza: gives us a sense of calm and purpose, kan? ;)

Minishorts: wah! she hugged me! she hugged me! tak boleh tidur liao ;) ;)

MG: wah, thanks for the link. very the nice. :)

viewtru said...

Go to dentist also you got the sum cheng to read poems arh? That reminds me, it's the time of the year for a scaling.

SiaoChaBoa said...

It touched me..! i'm gonna print this and have it at the store.. :) thanks.. MrB.
In our everyday life.. with all the hustle and bustle.. one has gotta remember the poem and find solace.. and keep our sanity..?? no..??

Lucia Lai said...

yeah this is a popular poem that had been around for ages. there is also a song to it, with the chorus going "you are a child of the universe". oh and there is a blog by this name too... or rather the writer of the blog use 'desiderata' as his handle.

Jason Tan said...

You can get more info from ylchong:


Look for the March 16 entry.