In trying to transition in and out of a community or communities, trying to jump between belief systems to find one that fits, and trying to balance duty and responsibility with relaxation and growth in all its dimensions, feelings that imprison the soul are born. They enter into the world under the names of Tension, Stress, and Anxiety, only to leave their pulverizing footprints on our energy, thoughts, and souls. Trying to become liberated from these feelings can take anywhere from one second to over 37,000,000 minutes. One method that I have used to temporarily liberate myself from these feelings is a poem called "Anyway" that was found in Mother Teresa's home.
This is Mother Teresa. You have probably seen, met, or heard of her before.
She was born, lived by touching many lives, is remembered as an inspiration and model to many, and was recently named a Saint by the Catholic Church.
She was guided by the conviction that all human beings deserved to be treated with worth and dignity from head to toe.
Around 1950 she created the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata, India which offered homes to orphans, the bed-ridden, elderly, and those suffering from leprosy.
Forty years later in 1990, her charity had grown to include homes for people with AIDS and it had spread to other communities across the globe including: Croatia, South Africa, Cuba, and the United States.
Her work in communities that otherwise might not have gotten any attention is why she is referred to as "Mother Teresa" now Saint Teresa or "Saint of the Gutters."
In addition to building homes and serving marginalized communities she also was the generator of many inspirational quotes. One of the quotes that she is remembered for, that is not her's, is the "Do It Anyway" poem.
A book written about her, mentioned, that it was posted on the wall in one of her homes and also suggests that she wrote it. This poem is actually derived from Dr. Kent M. Keith's "The Paradoxical Commandments."
Posted on Mother Teresa's wall:
People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered,
LOVE THEM ANYWAY
If you do good, people will accuse you of
selfish, ulterior motives,
DO GOOD ANYWAY
If you are successful,
you win false friends and true enemies,
The good you do will be forgotten tomorrow,
DO GOOD ANYWAY
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable,
BE HONEST AND FRANK ANYWAY
What you spent years building may be
People really need help
but may attack you if you help them,
HELP PEOPLE ANYWAY
Give the world the best you have
And you’ll get kicked in the teeth,
GIVE THE WORLD THE BEST YOU’VE GOT ANYWAY.
Although it is not known who authored this version of Dr. Keith's original work, this poem has been a source of strength for many people, and with Mother Teresa's blessing, a source of spiritual guidance.
Personally, this poem has been an inspiration to me on my journey in this life.
So for the next few weeks, I am going to write about each line of the poem by giving my understanding of it's importance to the poem and it's applicableness to the world.
THE FIRST LINE
People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered, LOVE THEM ANYWAY
Why I think this phrase matters?
A world without people would be unrecognizable. Business need people to buy, schools need people to learn, churches need people to grow, governments need people to debate, and people need people to people. Imagine trying to people without people. Imagine trying to live in community without people.
Presently, as a self-proclaimed introvert, sometimes I would like to believe that it is possible to have an individual-community; a community of one. It is so much easier for me to hop, skip, and jump into a safe environment where all five of my major organs are gathered together, living in the illusion that they are sharing different perspectives from different walks of life.
Sadly, every time I enter into this illusion, reality calls, just like Sallie Mae, and shares the balance of my accounts titled: social skills, being present, conflict management, and talking to other humans.
In this line of the poem, there is an energizing charge, that is lightning fast, and flashes the reality of the world and what we should do in the face of that reality. The reality being that people are people and the call to action being to love.
Why do you think this phrase matters?
Add your diverse and unique fruit seed(s) to the comment section below so that we can grow a tree together and eat what grows in community. Peace.