Friday, November 12, 2010

Improving on Mother Teresa

Famous Mother Teresa Prayer- The Final Analysis Prayer

People are often unreasonable, irrational, 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 unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.

I saw this prayer today, and if it could end here, it would be quite a nice little set of aspirations. The last line spoils is:

In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.

Do good for goodness' sake. It seems to me far better to just do good things for no reward other than it's the right thing to do. Doing good just because you're hoping for a reward at the end is hardly the most noble of intentions.

Also, what we do is about "us and them". I really dislike this notion that what we have here, right now, isn't really that importnat, it's the afterlife that really matters. It seems like such a wasteful world view. What we do here matters, and our actions do impact on each other.

So, instead, I'd much rather have this as the last line:

In the final analysis, this is the only life you have, so you'd best be excellent to each other. And don't let the bastards grind you down.

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