The Desiderata of Happiness

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 the dull and 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 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 to yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars and 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.


Max Ehrmann (1874-1945)

What's It All About, Alfie?

I warned them all from the beginning. I always said something along the lines of "I must advise you, I am stamped with an invisible warning. I will not commit. I will never marry." Despite my best efforts, I'm beginning to feel some small cracks in my faux finish. You know, when I look back on my little life and all the women I've known, I can't help but think about, all that they've done for me, and how little I've done for them, how they looked after me, cared for me, and I repaid them by never returning the favor. I used to think I had the best end of the deal. What have I got? Really! Some money in my pocket, some nice threads, fancy car at my disposal, and I'm single, unattached, free as a bird. I don't depend on nobody, nobody depends on me. My life's my own… but I don't have peace of mind, and if you don’t have that you've got nothing. So, what’s the answer? That's what I keep asking myself. What's it all about? You know what I mean?
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