readings

If there is a soul

If there is a soul, it is a mistake to believe that it is given to us fully created. It is created here, throughout a whole life. And living is nothing else but that long and painful bringing forth.

- Albert Camus

Anyway

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 have anyway.

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

- Mother Theresa

Whoever has come to understand the world

Jesus said, "Whoever has come to understand the world has found only a corpse, and whoever has found a corpse is superior to the world."

Thomas 42: 30-33

Leaves of Grass

This is what you shall do: Love the earth and the sun and the animals; despise riches, give alms to everyone who asks; stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others; hate tyrants; argue not concerning God; have patience and indulgence toward the people. ... re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book; dismiss what insults your soul, and your very flesh shall become a great poem. - Walt Whitman

Call Me by My True Names

Do not say that I'll depart tomorrow -
even today I am still arriving.

Look deeply: every second I am arriving
to be a bud on a spring branch,
to be a tiny bird, with wings still fragile,
learning to sing in my new nest,
to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower,
to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.

I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry,
to fear and to hope.

The rhythm of my heart is the birth and
death of all that are alive.

I am the mayfly metamorphosing on the surface of the river,
and I am the bird which, when spring comes, arrives in time
to eat the mayfly.

I am the frog swimming happily in the clear pond,
and I am the grass-snake who, approaching silently,
feeds on the frog.

I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones,
my legs as thin as bamboo sticks,
and I am the arms merchant, selling deadly weapons to Uganda.

I am the twelve-year-old girl, refugee on a small boat,
who throws herself into the ocean after being raped by a sea pirate,
and I am the pirate, my heart not yet capable of seeing and loving.

I am a member of the politburo, with plenty of power in my hands,
and I am the man who has to pay his "debt of blood" to my people,
dying slowly in a forced labor camp.

My joy is like spring, so warm it makes flowers bloom in all walks of life.
My pain if like a river of tears, so full it fills the four oceans.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can hear my cries and laughs all at once,
so I can see that my joy and pain are one.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can wake up,
and so the door of my heart can be left open,
the door of compassion.

- Thich Nhat Hanh

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