The Anyway Poem

Last week, during the funeral service of my friend, Nan Burns, one of the finest eulogies I’ve ever heard was delivered.

As it concluded, I leaned over to Heath, who sat beside me, and whispered, Wow!”

Three immediately came to my mind:

1)      Nan was an extraordinary person – thus giving her friend plenty of good material to use for the eulogy.
2)      The right words, spoken in the right way, can capture the beauty of a life.
3)      The best way to have beautiful things spoken about you at your funeral is to live a beautiful life.

This moving tribute included a reading, which Nan had penned in calligraphy and given to the reader as a gift.  As he read it, I immediately sensed that I should share it in this week’s Positively Speaking column.  Someone – perhaps you -- needs to hear this message.

The author is unknown, though some attribute it to Mother Teresa.  It is reported to have hung on the wall in her orphanage in Calcutta.  There are different versions of it, but I’m just sharing Nan’s rendition:

“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 will win false friends and true enemies.  Succeed anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.  Be honest and frank anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.  Do good anyway.

The biggest people with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest people with the smallest minds.  Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.  Fight for some underdogs anyway.

What you spend building may be destroyed overnight.  Build 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.

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