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Words that Inspire

Some works always stay with you. Written works that can move you, motivate you, inspire you, make you feel more connected to your life and the world around you. Poems, quotes, and books that you find at just the right moment in your life. Music or words that stay with you as you move through life. The ones that you come back to when you need a pause or a reminder.

We all carry so many of them through our lives. One poem that has always been a favorite of mine is Desiderata by Max Ehrmann. When I find myself getting lost in the chaos and noise of life, it always reminds me to come back to my center, my truth, my own way of being. A call to return to my own path. I am grateful to a guide who recently shared it at a time I needed a reminder. It is the perfect poem for this period of time, here and now, as much as it was when I came across it over 10 years ago. A poem that holds the same truths and meaning today that it did when it was written in the early 1920s. One that I am reflecting on as I contemplate where all of this is going.

What are some written works that you have come across over the years that hold a special meaning for you?


by Max Ehrmann

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 the 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 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 from 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 with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,

it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

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