Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Us Against the World

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
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
do good anyway
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 cannot put this better than Mother Teressa. It rings really true that people (even those we swear "friendship forever" with) fail us occasionally, job security disappears at a flick (employees at the impregnable Bear Stearns & Lehman Brothers learn it the hard way), and good intention begets skepticism most of the time (just give Al Gore and his opponents a call).

So do we stop there? No, because if everyone simply stops at every stop signs, India would not gain its independence, Apartheid & Segregation would not be abolished, and Salvation would not be given to mankind. 

History told us, through Mohammad Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, and Jesus Christ, that something revolutionary happens not when we try to gain people's acceptance but when we love people more than their opinion, when we hate injustice/sins more than the corrupted individual/society.

Those role-models made it because, no matter how big the resistance or dissent was, they did it anyway. To borrow Harriet Tubman's advise (which Hillary Clinton also used on her speech),"If you hear the dogs, keep going. If you see the torches in the woods, keep going. If they're shouting after you, keep going. Don't ever stop. Keep going. If you want a taste of freedom, keep going."

Yes. Because, in the end, people's opinion and acceptance are absurd. It was never about them nor about the perfect society, it is less about the temporal and more about the eternal. In the final line, it is just about you and God. 


No comments: