Every year or so, a few of my friends from long ago reunite. We all grew up in the same small Southern town and have known each other since infancy. One of the last times we got together we reminisced about Friday night football games, Sunday morning church, family dinners, and pre-teen campouts, and we marveled that we had lived through a golden age—a time when life was good and uncomplicated—and simple.
Lines were clean. Rules were enforced. Neighborhoods were safe. We were blessed.
This experience made me think of a poem that was found written on the wall of Mother Teresa’s orphanage in Calcutta. Though the Sister probably didn’t write the original poem, it has been closely tied to her for many years. It has borne two different titles: Anyway and A Simple Path. Anyway… here it is:
“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 IT ANYWAY
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable;
BE HONEST AND FRANK ANYWAY
What you spent years building may be destroyed overnight;
People really need help but may attack you if you help them;
HELP PEOPLE ANYWAY
Give the world the best you have and you might get kicked in the teeth;
GIVE THE WORLD THE BEST YOU’VE GOT ANYWAY.”
“Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly, leave the rest to God.” ― Ronald Reagan.