Thursday, September 29, 2011


This is by far one of my favorite pieces of writing ever. Credit is given to Max Ehrmann for writing a piece so profound, it has inspired people for generations. In fact, I am going to attempt to write this from memory and use the honor system by letting you know if I forgot some parts:

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 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 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 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.

No joke, I did not copy this. I am surprised. Maybe the punctuation is a little off, but I got it word for word. Les Crane narrates this poem extremely well. I also edited this because I realized that I left out a line. These things happen at 4:45AM. Below is a video mock-up of images set to a song made in 1972 based on this extremely influential poem.

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