April 10, 2005

  • A dear friend who’s an enneagram teacher in Israel sent me this, yesterday. It’s not exactly new, but I was glad to be reminded:


    People are often unreasonable,
    Illogical and self-centered.
    Forgive them anyway.

    If you are kind,
    People may accuse
    You of selfish motives;
    Be kind anyway.

    If you are successful,
    You will win some false friends
    And some true enemies;
    Succeed anyway.

    If you are honest and frank,
    People may cheat you;
    Be honest and frank anyway.

    What you spend years building,
    Someone could destroy overnight;
    Build anyway.

    If you find serenity and happiness,
    They may be jealous;
    Be happy anyway.

    The good you do today,
    People will often forget tomorrow;
    Do good anyway.

    Give the world the best you have,
    And it may never be enough;
    Give the world the best you have anyway.

    You see, in the final analysis,
    It is between you and God;
    It never was between you and them anyway.

    – Mother Theresa

    I am not a religious person, but these words have always resonated with me, because of the way they feel like an expression of so much of my life.

    Over the 44 years of my existence, more than a few people have called me an “innocent.” I have been called other things, as well, many of them a lot less flattering. I don’t care.

    I don’t care when a million people tell me I need to be more aware of people taking advantage of me, and less trusting, and less naive, and less giving and so forth. Life is about doing what’s right. I am the one who has to sleep with my conscience at night, not someone else. My essence tells me that “right living,” to me, means that I am largely a do-gooder peacenik. I will not be jaded and mistrustful in order to satisfy someone else’s needs. I will not be angry, vengeful and aggressive in order to fight your battles you’re afraid of. I will not take advantage of, or cheat, others to get you what you think you deserve. I will not sell out my sense of self to be something you think I need to be. I will break my back, and bust my butt to stand beside you, but it will be on my terms, not on yours.

    Sometimes I really wish people could understand the idea that it makes far more sense to seek friends who are already on a similar wavelength, than to take someone who is not and try to bend them to their needs. If you need a doctor, don’t go hire a plumber and try to train them to do brain surgery…..

    That’s not exactly rocket science, is it…..?


Comments (16)

  • This is an incredible coincidence from my point of view … I have read the very same words only yesterday, and intend to put them into calligraphy.

  • Your closing words about letting people be themselves are very wise. Too few people seem to understand the importance of accepting and appreciating both self and others as we are.

  • it does seem she was onto something…

  • Hey, thanks for visiting my site.  I’ve heard of goo-gone and it certainly would have helped me out of my predicament.

    I like that poem by Mother Theresa.  I’ll have to try to remember its sentiments.

  • Here here to the “innocents!”  I’m of your disposition as well, DG.  People are always riding me about my gullibility and naivety.  And, as I’m sure you’re aware, sometimes people take advantage of that attitude.  Truth is–like you–I don’t care.  I like that I’m a little naive and gullible because I’m able to maintain a child-like wonderment that is so rare in adults.  Age, experience and life jades people; I’ll be the first to admit it.  I see it happening to me, albeit slowly.  But I’ll never jump on the cynics wagon.  Hmmm…perhaps I shouldn’t say “never,” cuz ya just never know.  I do know that I’d go kicking and screaming though.

  • Beautiful post man. I think this world would be a much better place if there were more do-good peace-niks out there.

  • Here’s to being real!

  • “If you need a doctor, don’t go hire a plumber and try to train them to do brain surgery…..”  I like that! 

  • Oh thanks for reminding me of that. I printed it out to carry around with me. One of the main things I’ve figured out so far in life is the part about not expecting gratitude or that you will get back as much as you give but to do it anyway.

  • I love that! and you’re absolutely right about the rest. I haven’t held those ideals very well in my life, and I’m starting to realize what it has truly cost me…

  • I love that! I actually am not religious either and I have that Mother Teresa bit written down in one of my journals from years back. It’s a mantra that I, at times, need to say to myself.

  • I am the one who has to sleep with my conscience. Amen to that. And, I love that by Mother Teresa. I have seen excerpts from that before but never the whole thing.

  • I’ve been told that I’m too nice. I think that it corresponds with what you say about yourself. But, not only that, I don’t like to disappoint people. And yet when I stop and think about it, I do all the time. No matter what we do, not everyone is going to be pleased with us. Oh well. I like what you said about sleeping with your conscious.

    I often need to be reminded of this as well. Such perfect timing, too. Thank you. And for the link.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me and for subbing.

  • If more people lived like that… wow.. we might even have peace on earth.  Too bad it’s not meant to be.  But I fully agree… we are the ones that have to sleep with our conscience… and hopefully we can do so.  :)   Nice entry!

  • Mother Teresa is on my favorites people list.
    Her veracity is undisputed.

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