Recently I experienced one of those “dark” days when very little went well. I felt like a failure, as if all I touched went sour and I was unhappy. We don’t always live up to our own expectations, others don”t always live up to our expectations,  and sometimes our creation doesn’t exceed our hope. On those days when I’m choosing less than happy thoughts I sometimes turn to the internet for inspiration. Recently, the poem Desidirata appeared on my screen. Written by an attorney from Terre Haute, Indiana named Max Ehrmann, in 1927, the following piece, “Desiderata” was Max’s most famous contribution to our world.DesiderataGo 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 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’s 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 disenchantement, it is as perrenial 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 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 in your soul.  With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.  Be cheerful.  Strive to be happy.— © Max Ehrmann, 1927Max passed away in 1945. His remains are buried in Terre Haute, Indiana, a town located near where I grew up. He practiced law, worked in his family’s meat packing plant and manufactured blue jeans. Though I have read his poem many times, I never knew who wrote the piece. I thought it must have been written by some ancient Greek philosopher from the “old world”. I’m glad I was able to discover the true source of the work. The last line of the piece says “With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.  Be cheerful.  Strive to be happy”. Indeed Max, it can be a beautiful world, when we choose to see it that way. Thanks Max, for your inspiration and your wisdom.Gregory