Here’s a beautiful anecdote I stumbled on the social media:
During a prank, a student stuck a paper on his classmate’s back that said, “I’m Stupid,” and asked the rest of the class not to tell the boy. Thus, the students began laughing on and off.
Then, when the teacher came in for the math class, she wrote a difficult question on the board.
No one was able to answer it except the boy with the sticker. Amid the unexplained giggles, he walked toward the board and solved the problem.
The teacher asked the class to clap him and remove the paper on his back. She told him: “It seems that you don’t know about the paper your classmate has pasted on your back.”
Then the teacher looked at the rest of the class and said: “Before I give you a punishment, let me tell you something. Had your classmate known about the paper, probably he wouldn’t have gotten up to answer the question.
"You see, throughout your life, people will put labels on you with many nasty words to stop your progress. But all you have to do in life is ignore the labels people give you and seize every opportunity you have in order to learn, grow, and improve yourself.” END OF STORY.
Quite true in real life. Sometimes, it seems a better lot if we remain oblivious to what others think, say, or expect of us. Because the moment we become aware of their labels on us, we switch to panic mode of how to react to such nasty, or even destructive, labels.
More likely than not, we often make a rather helter-skelter response by retrofitting ourselves according to the expectations of others – making others, as it were, the barometer of our success.
Labels – even if, in truth, they are just abstractions and hence not synonymous with reality – divide your characteristics into a black-or-white categories, either good or bad, beautiful or ugly, desirable or undesirable. Labels discourage you from exerting the effort and taking the risk of trying to change, to improve, or to make a headway for success.
But, truth is, labels are not the be-all and end-all of who you are. Far more important than what other people think and say about you, are – your dream, your passion, your purpose, your heart’s desire, your success, your happiness.
After all, at the end of the day, it’s NOT BETWEEN YOU AND OTHERS anyway, it’s between you and your progress, you and your fulfillment, you and your happiness.
The same is true also if we sincerely desire to follow the divinely mandated path of being good, fair, kind, loving and forgiving, honest, and doing our best for God’s sake.
According to St. Teresa of Calcutta, Christian “charity” (read: love) is different from philanthropy, in the sense that for a Christian, being kind or being good is not only for the sake of helping or being good but, above all, for the sake or love of Christ.
Hence, if you are good or kind, it’s not only between you and others, but it’s more importantly between you and God.
St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta expressed it very wisely in the following words, titled “Anyway”:
“People are often unreasonable and self-centered – FORGIVE them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives – Be KIND anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you – Be HONEST anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous – Be HAPPY anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow – Do GOOD anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough – Give your BEST anyway.
For you see, in the end, it was NEVER BETWEEN YOU AND THEM anyway – it is BETWEEN YOU AND GOD.”
#InspiredAndBlessed #BobAcebedo #Anyway #St.MotherTeresaOfCalcutta #OpinYonColumn #OpinYon