It's been somewhere around forty years since I first heard Max Ehrmann's "Desiderata" recited by a group of sixth-graders, twenty-seven years that a framed copy of it has been hanging in my home, and nearly seven years since I wrote here about how much it means to me.
It now hangs over a bookcase near my backdoor, where I come face-to-face with it a dozen times a day and stop to read it more often than you'd expect after all these years. It covers many of the basic premises of the Bible, except they're mostly stated as dos instead of don'ts. I like that about it. I also like that it doesn't contain any references to hellfire and damnation. While threats can be motivational, I suppose, they've never inspired me at all.
Here's the text so you can "go placidly" and be inspired yourself:
by Max Ehrmann