A New Year Resolution


Adapted from Max Ehrmann’s poem “Desiderata” (Desired Things) written in 1927

I will go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible without surrender I will be on good terms with all persons.

I will speak Your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

I will avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

I will not compare myself with others, lest I become vain and bitter; for there will always be greater and lesser persons than me.

I will enjoy my achievements as well as my plans. I will keep interested in my own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

I will exercise caution in my business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But I will not be blinded to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

I will be myself. Especially, I will not feign affection, nor be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

I will take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

I will nurture strength of spirit to shield me in sudden misfortune. But I will not distress myself with dark imaginings. I know that many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

I will hold a wholesome discipline, and be gentle with myself.

I am a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; I have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to me, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore I will be at peace with God, and whatever my labors and aspirations in the noisy confusion of life I will keep peace within my soul, With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. I will be cheerful. I will strive to be happy.

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