Monday, March 16, 2015

Max Ehrmann (1872-1945)

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 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 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 critical 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 careful. Strive to be happy.

~ Max Ehrmann (1872-1945)

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Max Ehrmann (September 26, 1872 – September 9, 1945) was an American writer, poet, and attorney from Terre Haute, Indiana, widely known for his 1927 prose pie  Desiderata  "things desired" in Latin). He often wrote on spiritual themes.

Ehrmann was of German descent; both his parents emigrated from Bavaria in the 1840s. Young Ehrmann was educated at the Terre Haute Fourth District School and the German Methodist Church.
He received a degree in English from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana  which he attended from 1890 to 1894. While there, he was a member of Delta Tau Delta’s Beta chapter,  and was editor of the school newspaper, Depauw Weekly.
Ehrmann then studied philosophy and law at Harvard where he was editor of his fraternity’s national magazine The Rainbow, circa 1896.
Ehrmann returned to Terre Haute in 1898 to practice law. He served as deputy state’s attorney in Vigo Country, Indiana for two years. Subsequently, he worked in his family's meatpacking business and in the overalls manufacturing industry (Ehrmann Manufacturing Co.) At age 40, Ehrmann left the business to write. At age 54, he wrote Desiderata, which achieved widespread fame after his death. - WIKI]


  1. Penelope PennyfeatherMarch 16, 2015 at 4:26 PM

    Wonderful verse, and I absolutely adore the sentiment.

    Now, if we could just get everyone to observe them, most of all that vulgar, braying ass Jersey McJones!

    1. I should delete you for that, Penny. I consider Jersey a friend, even though we are often at odds on political matters.

      Have you never heard "A soft answer turneth away wrath?"

      It's in the Bible, but please don't ask me where.

      At any rate why court trouble with baiting remarks? Heaven knows we get enough of it already without asking for it.

  2. FT,
    You might enjoy this reading by Leonard Nimoy.

    The first time I heard "Desiderata" might have been on one of Leonard Nimoy's vinyls.

    1. Thank you, AOW. I have bookmarked the selection for future enjoyment. I hadn't thought much about Leonard Nimoy since his long ago days as Mr. Spock on Star Trek, but I enjoyed him then. He had a fine voice -- a quality that used to be prerequisite for success in life -- particularly in the realms of politics and show business.

      The modern idea that it's just fine and dandy –– even preferable –– just to "be natural," is deplorable. Nimoy was a true professional. I hope he is being well treated in the Great Beyond.

  3. Penelope,

    I agree with the proprietor of this weblog. Jersey McJones is a vociferous voice for progress and the common man.

    1. Yes. He may be "loud and aggressive" much of the tie, but I am convinced underneath all the bluster lies a heart of gold. Any man who loves cats can't be all bad. ;-)

      Jersey's blog persona may be irritating, but he -- unlike the spiteful, devious, truly malignant individuals we know all too well -- does not deserve our contempt.

  4. Damndit! Freethink!

    I'm sick of you deleting my posts!

    Less at Ratturd Nation is a Leftwinger trolling you. Go see how he sucks the socialists asses at the leftist anti-American blogs!

    1. Yes. Yes. Yes. But is there any real need to bear down so heavily on the obvious? In future I MUST ask you to respect the wishes of this Editor-in-Chief, and soften your remarks to avoid undue vulgarity and invective.


  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. That's a nice poem, an it contains timeless wisdom. Reminds me in some way of Kipling's "If."

    Hi Les. Kooks to the left, kooks to the right. What're we gonna do?

    Go back through the comment threads here and you tell me just how much FreeThink has encouraged such commentary. Answer: He hasn't.

    I bet this one got past him somehow, and I bet it will be gone soon. Knowing how this anonymous funhouse called the internet is, 50/50 its a lib troll.

    1. Thank you for the support, my friend, but THE LESS SAID ABOUT LES --- and all others of his despicable ilk – the better.

      I would much prefer this blog to function as a dignified Debating Society than a War Zone.

    2. FT: Yeah. People like Libtard Smasher (who reside in all ideological sectors) don't understand that they do their cause more harm than good.

  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. Ah but you do care , you only say you don't because of your LYING nature

  8. _______________ FORMAL NOTICE _________________

    LES CARPENTER aka RATIONAL NATION is BENEATH CONTEMPT, and not worth even one SECOND of anyone's time.

    In future ANY COMMENT he tries to make here, however benign it may appear, will be ERADICATED UNREAD.

    Any remarks direct TO him or ABOUT him will be ERADICATED on sight.

    ________ We Desire Above All to make this a Troll-Free Zone ________

    DESIDERATA quoted above is Max Ehrmann's timeless piece of sage advice, notable and much loved for its benignity. Nevertheless, he admonishes us to "Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexations to the spirit."

    It is in the spirit of Max Ehrmann's beloved prose poem, written at age 54, that we vow to erase any and all remarks we believe to be deliberately irritating, insulting, unkind, and unduly provocative in their intent.

    Sincere questions and intelligent criticism is welcome as long as it pertains to whatever topic may be at hand. Personal remarks and expressions of ill will and contempt are likely to be removed.

    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    2. NIMN:

      I SAID "Any remarks TO or ABOUT that individual will be ERADICATED."

      There will be NO EXCEPTIONS, is that clear?

  9. Quite right!

    We have important work to do in this nation!

  10. happy to see you sweeped out the RAT TURDS

    1. Please! ENOUGH.

      Can you not say something affirmative about someone or something near and dear to you?

      TRY it.



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