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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 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 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 aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the years.

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 with your soul.

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


—Max Ehrmann, 1927

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