- Leave the lights on – while you are making love. Global warming won’t care about that.
- Be frugal – with other people’s time and energy. There are all kinds of conservation we need to practice.
- Be generous – with your own time and money. You will be rewarded in the most unlikely and loving ways.
- Give thanks – when they are not expected. True gratitude is catching and spreads faster than measles.
- Respond quickly – with warmth and impulsive hugs. Don’t wait too long to say “thank you” – or it will lose its spark.
- Be silent – when there is nothing good to say. Better still, find something nice to say – it might actually come true.
- Sit with a cat in your lap for at least ten minutes a day – and dream of what you want. Because the cat dreams one hundred times more than that and seems to get everything he wants.
- Reach out to someone you may have hurt or ignored – they are waiting for you. An outstretched hand is hard to ignore, especially when it is palm upwards.
- Do not hoard your wisdom, your compassion nor your sense of self worth. Unless you share the first two, the third will surely wither and fade.
- Live in the spirit of the Desiderata – for it is a timeless message of simple peace and tranquility.
Go placidly amid the noise and the 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 the 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 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 not this 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 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