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There are many written works that have achieved international acclaim. However, few of them will fit on an average sized book page. Desiderata is one of such works. Desiderata is plural for the word "desideratum" which means "something essential or necessary". This name makes sense because Desiderata is a collection of instructions which many consider as necessary to living a balanced and happy life.

There were some myths about the origin of this written work. In fact many people believed that it was an anonymous work that was written back in 1692. However, it was actually written by Max Ehrmann (1872-1945) who was a lawyer from Terre Haute, Indiana. Explaining why Desiderata is a work of genius would not be as effective as allowing you to read it and see for yourself. So without further ado, here it is:

Go 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 the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexatious 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 all aridity and disenchantment it is as 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 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 its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

The genius in this work speaks clearly for itself. Desiderata is truly timeless and it applies to people of all ages nationalities, and walks of life. It is no surprise that many people from all over the world see it as a set of ideals by which they should live their lives. Desiderata is truly a work of genius. It is rare for a composition to deliver so much wisdom and inspiration to so many in so few words.

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