Anyway

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ANYWAY

By Mother Teresa


People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered;

FORGIVE THEM ANYWAY…

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;

BE KIND ANYWAY…

If you are successful, you will win some false friends, and some true friends;

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…

Give the world the best you have, and you may get hurt;

GIVE THE WORLD YOUR BEST ANYWAY…

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and GOD;

IT WAS NEVER BETWEEN YOU AND THEM ANYWAY…


I have always loved this poem. Over the years as I have read it, I have absorbed it… and it has become a part of me.

If I weren’t so thoroughly poetry-challenged, this is exactly the kind of verse I would have written. So I am pleased as punch to have come across something readymade… without me having to slog over it. Moreover, it is so perfectly written!!

In a way, this poem belongs to me and to you… and to everyone who lives these words. This poem is also my answer to people who have asked me over the years, how I continue to have benevolence for people even when they disappoint me. People have asked me how I can forgive so easily, not have resentment, be ready to continue helping even those who have supposedly hurt me.

I am not claiming to be a saint; far from it. The truth is, someday if I am really hurt, I doubt if I will forgive easily. But how can I have resentment if I haven’t been hurt in the first place? I don’t believe people can hurt each other much. Not in a way that matters a great deal. Unless someone does something so bad that it wounds me to my soul, I am not hurt. And to reach my soul is not that easy. I am not that accessible… appearances to the contrary notwithstanding.

When someone misbehaves, I feel sorry for them, really sorry. I know their conscience will bother them someday. That day, they will torture themselves thinking they have hurt me and wouldn’t know how to apologize. I wish I could tell them in advance… now… that they didn’t hurt me, not primarily. Primarily it is their own self they have hurt, by harboring unworthy thoughts is their mind, by judging me unfairly, by letting their inner being be awash with all kinds of negative feelings… resentment, pain, betrayal. They have hurt me secondarily, because they hurt themselves. To witness another carry the burden of a degrading and senseless pain, pain which was completely avoidable and utterly irrelevant, hurts very much. In that sense, yes, I get hurt.

But this is not a pain for which apology is expected- or necessary. The truth is, an apology is absolutely besides the point.

It is enough to see that they have cleansed their heart of the poison and acid that was sloshing around in them. The only thing they need to do is to stop hurting themselves. Nothing hurts me more than senseless pain, nothing.

They need to make peace with their own conscience, with their own GOD, not with me.

 

It was never between them and me ANYWAY…

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3 thoughts on “Anyway

  1. shishir

    Didi,

    I think it is time we met up and chatted 😀 It has been long since we met ‘properly’….in fact the only lasting memories I have of you is from that house in Mayur Vihar.

    I love what you have shared (you might recall, I have a shortened version of this poem on my blog too), and more importantly what you have written. It is hard to express in words…..but I feel more comfortable about myself every time I read what you have to say.

    Keep it up, this brother of your’s truly cherishes your writings.

    Reply
    1. Dagny Post author

      Shishir,

      Your memory of me is of a time when I was not even a tenth as formed as I am today. I am not saying I have ‘arrived’, all of us are works in progress, but yes I will say this: I am completely changed now from what you knew of me then. I agree with you, it is time we met and seriously talked.

      I have read the depth of your thought process, I have seen your struggle and you disappointments whenever I have read you. What gives me immense hope however, is the never say die spirit that shines through every time. You are the kind I wouldn’t hesitate to trust with the most delicate undertakings. You have maturity, an enormous amount of common sense and heaping dollops of resilience. And I LOVE that about you.

      This brother cherishing my writing is the bestest thing to have happened. Hum khush hue… 🙂

      Love…

      Reply

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