popularized 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 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’ve got anyway.

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

This poem was reportedly inscribed on the wall of Mother Teresa’s children’s home in Calcutta, India and has often been attributed to her. However, an article in the New York Times (March 8, 2002) has since reported that the original version of this poem was written by Kent M. Keith.

I have loved this poem since the first time I read it during a life improvement seminar. This poem made me reexamine my life. I profess to be a Christian, but why do I still value people’s opinions more than God’s? I guess a lot of us have this problem. Oftentimes, we are so consumed by the things that won’t really matter in the long run. That’s why we’re so stressed and tired.

In life, we all get hurt by other people. A mean comment from a stranger, a hurtful word from a friend, a betrayal by a loved one, these things scar us and make us jaded.Whether by words or by actions, they can ruin our day; they can even ruin our life – if we let them. Consider the story below:

The Law of Garbage Trucks

by David J. Pollay

Sixteen years ago I learned an important life lesson, in the back of a New York City taxi cab.

I hopped in a taxi, and we took off for Grand Central Station.  We were driving in the right lane when, all of a sudden, a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us.

My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by mere inches! The driver of the other car, the guy who almost caused a big accident, whipped his head around and started yelling bad words at us.  My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy.  And I mean, he was actually friendly!

So, I asked him, “Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and could’ve sent us to the hospital!”

And this is when my taxi driver told me about what I now call, “The Law of Garbage Trucks.”

“Many people are like Garbage Trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it, and if you let them, they’ll dump it on you.  When someone wants to dump on you, don’t take it personally. Instead, just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. You’ll be happier because you did.”

Wow.  That really got me thinking about how often do I let Garbage Trucks run right over me? AND, how often do I then take their garbage and spread it onto other people: at work, at home, on the streets?  It was that day I resolved, “I’m not going to do it anymore.”

Since then, I have started to see Garbage Trucks everywhere.  Just as the kid in the Sixth Sense movie said, “I see dead people,” I can now say, “I see Garbage Trucks.” 🙂

I see the load they’re carrying … I see them coming to drop it off.  And like my Taxi Driver, I don’t make it a personal thing; I just smile, wave, wish them well, and I move on.

A beautiful concept that can make our lives less complicated and so much happier. Learn to let go. Because if it doesn’t stop with us, where it will stop? So, forgive anyway, be kind anyway, succeed anyway, be honest and frank anyway, build anyway, be happy anyway, do good anyway, give the best you’ve got anyway.

Because in the end, it was never between you and other people – it has always been between you and God anyway.


2 thoughts on “Anyway

    • Thank you also! I’ve been meaning to write this post for a long time now, because I really love this poem. Share it with everyone you know – they will be blessed by the message.

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