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Desiderata !

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 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 or 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 in your soul.

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

written by Max Ehrmann in the 1920s
Not "Found in Old St. Paul's Church"!

Urban legend relating to the Desiderata !

    Most copies of the Desiderata carry ther false claim that the original was found in Old Saint Paul's Church in Baltimore in 1692.  That it is unsigned and in the public domain.

     The poem was written in 1927 by Max Ehrmann (1872-1945), a lawyer from Terre Haute, Indiana. Confusion over Desiderata's authorship arose in 1956 when a Maryland pastor used the poem in a collection of mimeographed material for the congregation of Old St. Paul's Church in Baltimore. The booklet was printed on letterhead emblazoned "Old St. Paul's Church, Baltimore, A.D. 1692" (the year of the church's founding).

    The poem was a mantra for the 60s hippie generation and appeared on posters. The spoken version of Desiderata earned a Grammy award for Les Crane in 1971. Like many others, he'd seen the words on a poster and mistakenly thought them to be in the public domain. That error cost him. He was later forced to share the royalties with the late Ehrmann's family.  
    The full story can be located at Urban Legends:

  http://www.snopes.com/spoons/fracture/desidera.htm

The Confused History of "Desiderata"

In the Public Domain or Copyrighted?

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