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The Desiderata of Happiness and other favorite poems:

Contrary to common belief, the poem "The Desiderata of Happiness" was not the product of folklore, it was written by the German-American publisher Max Ehrmann in 1927. The poem is now in the public domain.

The poems "Man Never Grows up" and "A smile Costs Nothing" inspire tranquility.

These simple poems are my favorite travel companions. They have stood the test of time and have stood me well throughout many decades. I have framed them and they hang in my study. I hold them dear. I cannot help being moved by them because they hold such eternal, but simple, truths. 


Above All: Keep Life simple ! Enjoy Every Moment!






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 or lesser persons than yourself.  Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in you 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 for what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals and everywhere live 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 council 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 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, 1927
(Slightly modified by
The Iconoclast)                                                  





Man never grows up, 

he only grows older,

losing on his way

the happiness

of seeing a butterfly

on a blade of grass

and shedding 

the simple smile

and simple honesty 

of childhood.  .  . 

carrying with him

the loneliness and fear,

 the insecurity and rivalry

that clouds his days

with discontent.


Yet, there are still

a few among us

 who walk with peace;

 having neither envy 

nor anger;

 neither fear of death

 nor hunger for wealth,

 who live out their years

  with a calm smile .  .  . 


by the brutal hunger

of other men !


                    _________Tom Weber




A Smile


A Smile Costs Nothing, 

but gives much.

It enriches those who receive

without making poorer those who give.

It takes but a moment

but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.

None is so rich and mighty that he can get along without it, 

and none is so poor that he cannot be made rich by it.


A Smile creates happiness in the home,

 fosters goodwill in business,

and is the countersign of friendship.

A smile brings rest to the weary, 

cheer to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad,

and it is nature's best antidote for trouble.


Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed or stolen,

 for it is something that is of no value to anyone

until it is given away.


Some people are too tired to give you a smile, 

Give them one of yours,

 as none needs a smile so much

as he who has no more to give.




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