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Desiderata

See also Undesiderata, Eco-Desiderata, Anti-Desiderata and the The Irish Desiderata parodies on this page.

Desiderata

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 people.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;and listen to all
even to the dull and ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive people, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself to others you will become vain and bitter;
there will always 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 not this blind you to the 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;
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 than the trees and the stars;
you have the 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.

~ Max Ehrman

 

Undesiderata

Go placidly amid the noise & haste, but better yet,
avoid the noise and haste altogether. Be on good terms
with all persons as far as possible; especially with shopkeepers.

Speak the truth plainly & clearly; listen to others, even the dull and
ignorant, until you are certain they are utterly useless.
When you are not among men of reason, it is better to run than argue.
Make use of loud & aggressive persons like salesmen, and use them to
broadcast your radical views.

If you compare yourself to others,
you may become vain & bitter; for always there
will be greater & lesser persons than yourself.
This is a good thing; vanity makes you more interesting to look at,
and bitterness makes you more practical and realistic.

Keep a strong interest in your own career, however
humble; but if you don't enjoy humility for its own sake,
learn to exercise yourself in greater spheres of action.
Once you know something, it is yours forever;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
You always have to take care of wealth; knowledge takes care of you.

Exercise caution in you business affairs; for the world is full of people
who must turn a profit to survive. Many persons strive for high ideals;
some thrive, and some starve. There is no good reason to starve. Most
people throw away treasures. Many useful & interesting items can be had for
half price, if you are willing to buy them used.

Be yourself. Especially, do not deny yourself pleasure for fear of social
stigma. Indulge yourself in private. If you love yourself shamelessly,
others will love you.

Resist aging and death with every resource available to you. Nurture
skills of self-defense. Learn how to survive under difficult conditions;
this may shield you in sudden misfortune. Distinguish between illusion and
reality, between emotion and fact. Avoid making important decisions on too little sleep.
Kick your own ass. The universe neither cares about you nor recognizes any
obligation to you. It is fixed and blind, a mad robot programmed to kill.
You are free and seeing; you must outwit it at every poor turn.

Whatever your labors & aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, you
must create your own sanity, prosperity, and peace.
The world is so gorgeous it hurts. Be careful. Strive to be happy.

-found on a plaque attached to a communications satellite; dated 2012

~ Romana Machado

 

"Below are two works based on Max Ehrman's fine work: Desiderata. The works below are a contrasting pair -- one environmental and one not -- which serve to illustrate the differences in our perception of global problems." -- Ed Glaze, Port Mansfield, TX

Eco-Desiderata

Go angrily amid the pollution and waste -
taking a long-term environmental view,
surrendering the things of materialism, as necessary.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with the environment.
Live your life quietly and cleanly; and listen to Nature,
even the plants and animals, for they too have their story.

Avoid lazy and wasteful persons, they are vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with Nature,
you should become plain and humble;
for always there will be greater wonders than humans.
Enjoy your planting as well as your harvesting.

Exercise caution in your population growth;
for the world has limited resources.
Never be careless about growth;
for in spite of all economies of scale
it is as dangerous as the bomb.

Keep interested in your own community, however small;
for it can change and become a threat
to the environment over time.
But let this not blind you to what freedoms there are;
all responsible persons must strive for ecological living,
and remember what savings there are in recycling.

Obtain knowledge of survival to aid you in ecological living;
and do not distress yourself with reminiscing;
the world must change due to our pollution and overpopulation.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, always be gentle with Nature.

Humans are only animals,
especially with no natural right of superiority.
We are but one species among many,
no more than the trees and the animals -
they have an equal right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
there is no doubt that humans have not been living as they should.

Therefore be at peace with Nature, whatever you conceive it to be;
and whatever your labors and aspirations
in our threatened environment keep waste to a minimum,
since everywhere life is under threat.

Without all our wars, pollution and overpopulation
it could again be a beautiful world.
Be ecological. Sacrifice for the future.

~ Ed Glaze III

 

Anti-Desiderata

Go blindly amid the noise and waste,
and ponder what rewards await you in the future.

As far as possible seek no undue notice from any persons.
Speak approved truths loudly and opinions vaguely.
Don't listen to others, especially the questioning and
nonconforming - they will always cause trouble.

Be a loud and aggressive and force your views on the meek.
Compare yourself with others, so you know where you stand;
always there will be those greater few to which you must yield
and the many lesser persons to dominate.

Exaggerate your achievements, as well as your plans.
Keep interested only in your own career -
always seek promotion - your career is your best possession
in the changing fortunes of business and politics.

Exercise caution in your social affairs,
for the world is full of backstabbers.
But let this not blind you to what opportunities there are;
many trusting persons are there to be taken
and everywhere life is full of corruption - get your share.

Be not yourself. Especially feign affection.
Always be cynical about love,
for in the face of all self-interest and rewards
it is as deadly as poison.

Resist strongly the counsel of the years,
never surrendering the irresponsibility of youth.
Nurture alliances of convenience to provide scapegoats
in case of sudden misfortune.
But do not satisfy yourself with imaginings -
many careers are made by timely threats and betrayals.
Maintain a self-centered discipline, be ruthless with others.

Yours is a face outside the crowd,
so much more than the blue-collared and unemployed.
You must fight to reach and remain on top.
And whether or not it is clear to anyone else,
you've no doubt that the best must earn their rewards.

Therefore, dutifully mouth the current part line,
whatever you conceive it to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
always cover your butt as you work behind the scenes.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams,
it is a fearful and viscous world out there.
Be careful. Strive to survive.

~ Ed Glaze III

 

The Irish Desiderata

Go Noisily amid the complacency and waste, and Remember what peace can be had without Television. Never Surrender and always attempt to undermine authority, which will put you on good terms with most people. Speak your truth as loudly and as clearly as possible, especially to the dull and ignorant.

Avoid meekness and subservience like the plague, for they are murderers of mankinds soul. If you compare yourself with others, you are wasting time and living in a world of illusion. Wake UP! Enjoy your achievements, but enjoy your plans more.

Keep interested in your livelihood, it is the only one you will ever have, and is an ongoing thing. Do not allow others to define your livelihood, or your currencies. Exercise generosity in your business affairs, for what ever you have, will not be yours again, someday. There is neither trickery nor virtue in this world, there is only light and darkness, Thinking, and ignorance. One mans boon is another mans crime. Be aware of the true solitude you inherit with your existance, and treasure it. The only thing you can take with you from this world is what you have learned.

Love is a conditioned response born of reproductive imperative, and a subconscious survival instinct. Do not put pretty labels on it, you are just fooling yourself. True care for yourself, and your fellow human beings, goes far beyond love, and is not hard to see. Grow old gracefully, but do not fall into the pit of wishing immortality. No amount of drugs or physicians care can keep your body on this Earth forever. To want that is base selfishness and simple animal fear. Do not indulge it, you are truly better than that.

You are the embodiment of Light, the most refined form of matter that can be. You are meant to be here, and you will be here again. You are a traveler in space, and eternal in your identity. Do not restrict yourself, or you will be sorry, over and over again.

Be cheerful when possible, boldly courageous when necessary, and thoughtful always. Learning is what you are here for, and the world is just the classroom for the soul. Strive To Be Free.

~ Bill Gallagher


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