Max Ehrmann, writer and lawyer (1872-1945)

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste and rememeber 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, for they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggresive persons, for they are vexatious to the spirit. Never compare yourself with others. You may become vain or bitter, for there will be always 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 possesion in the changing fortunes of life. 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 people 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 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, for 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 there. And whether or not it is clear to you, the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive him to be. And whatever your labours 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.

PS: Originally the desiderata was supposedly attributed to an Episcopal church inscription from 1658. However, years later, its original authorship was established. Max Ehrman, who penned this in 1927, died long before this became so immensely popular.