“Desiderata” was apparently written in 1927 by Max Ehrmann (1872-1945). There was at least one other candidate for authorship -- that of the words being found in Baltimore’s Old St. Paul’s Church, dated 1692. But 1692 was the founding date of the church, and the language of the poem was apparently not of that era. Nevertheless, the poem was reprinted in 1956 by the rector of St. Paul’s Church in a collection of mimeographed inspirational material. 
Regardless of its origins, however -- and we will assume that Max Ehrmann (astoundingly enough, an attorney at law!) was the author -- the poem is good advice anywhere, anytime and under almost any circumstances. Good advice, in fact, to rank alongside Douglas Adams’ advice to always carry a towel.
Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace they may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender, be on good terms with all others,
even 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 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 if 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.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity
and disenchantment it is 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 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 God 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.
Strive to be happy.
Or forward to:
 See also Fred D. Cavinder, “Desiderata”, TWA Ambassador, Aug. 1973, pp. 14-15.
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