I first read Desiderata in Polish, at Letnia Szkoła Go. There’s a path that leads through woods. As you walk down, every few dozen of meters you encounter a slab with one verse on it. I found it hard to understand as my Polish wasn’t as great back then, but from what I understood I knew this was something special.
I thought it was just local folklore and so was surprised to find out that Desiderata was originally written in English almost one hundred years ago by Max Ehrmann.
Desiderata is a short prose poem, possibly the most powerful text I’ve ever read. Everytime I’m feeling down, angry, hurt, upset or desperate it brings instant calmness. Here’s a quote, one of my favourites:
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
I felt an urgent need to print out Desiderata and cover the walls with it. As I haven’t used TeX for quite a while (a year or more?), this was a good opportunity to recall it a bit. You can download Desiderata (pdf) for printing.