Do It Anyway – Mother Teresa

I offer the following words from Mother Teresa as a source of inspiration in difficult moments-

for children in Calcutta:

              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.

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

-this version is credited to Mother Teresa. It is thought to have been based on The Paradoxical Commandments by Dr. Kent Keith.

 

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Layers

Breathing

scents
of fallen
rose petal
secrets

Unwrapping

tied up
boxes
of lost
surprises

Waiting

while tear drops
melt
false maskes
from me

Staring

into mirrors
of screaming faces
behind
shadow smiles

Knowing

layers
illusions
are dissolving

my truth
is being
revealed

tio stib, 1995, 2018

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A Thousand Clowns, a 1965 Film

“A Thousand Clowns” is a film about an eccentric, non-conformist comedy writer living in New York city. Based on a Broadway screenplay, this brilliantly written and superbly acted story is my antidote to feelings of being overwhelmed by societal pressures to fit in, especially as a writer.

Here is the YouTube link to the entire film, something for a dreary day.

A Thousand Clowns

Enjoy!

tio stib 2017

Hanging with Happiness

I used to hang with Happiness
he brought me many smiles
but then one day he disappeared
and left me lonely miles

I used to play with all his friends
Laughter, Joy, Surprise,
no end
but when he left that fateful day
I found they all had gone away

I used to hang with Happiness
he always sparked my mind
but then one day he disappeared
the day that I went blind

he took the world that I could see
including my identity
and left a void inside of me
a life I can no longer be

I miss those days of running free
of feeling wild immensity
now I linger long in bed
lost in wonders in my head

this the only place I see
the only world where I am free
the dreams deep inside of me
and sleep the door that sets me free

I wonder as the day dawns black
if he might someday come back
and with this hope I make my way
a chance that I might hear him say…

listen
I’ve brought my friends to play

tio stib
2015, 2017

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The Comfort of Complacency

is it worth it
to have fleeting comfort
while the self
slips away
in the shadow
of complacency

is it worth it
to pretend life is good
as the price for love
to force a smile
when the heart
is screaming

can I truly exist
with the constant
drumming of defeat
deafening my spirit
killing the will
to be

what will it take
for my soul
to stand
demand
the right to live
the truth

tonight
as I stare
into oblivion
these thoughts
keep me
sleepless

tio stib, 2015

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Hanging with Happiness

I used to hang with Happiness
he brought me many smiles
but then one day he disappeared
and left me lonely miles

I used to play with all his friends
Laughter, Joy, Surprise,
no end
but when he left that fateful day
I found they all had gone away

I used to hang with Happiness
he always sparked my mind
but then one day he disappeared
the day that I went blind

he took the world that I could see
including my identity
and left a void inside of me
a life I can no longer be

I miss those days of running free
of feeling wild immensity
now I linger long in bed
lost in wonders in my head

this the only place I see
the only world where I am free
the dreams deep inside of me
and sleep the door that sets me free

I wonder as the day dawns black
if he might someday come back
and with this hope I make my way
a chance that I might hear him say…

listen
I’ve brought my friends to play

tio stib, 2015

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Perfection

In the caverns of my mind
I seek,
the perfect words to find
That I may tell a story bold
That sparks the eyes as it unfolds

I test them each across my lips
For rhyme, for sound,
they seldom fit
Plunge on, I must,
with driven need
to satisfy my wordy greed

I trust that lost
deep in my brain
perfection hides
then laughs
again

Tio Stib, 2014, 2015

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Truth

Truth

In the stillness of my soul
Resides the light of truth
So soft
So strong
This light shines on
the one, the only route

Through storm tossed thoughts
on passion’s waves
in loneliness
lost weary days
the flicker of that warming hope
pulls heart again
up life’s steep slope

And in the quiet moment
now
Beyond the mind,
past sight
I know that I am loved
This sacred
holy
night

tio stib, 1994, 2015

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Burned Barn

Burned Barn
My barn having burned to the ground,
I can now see the moon

Japanese poet Mizuta Masahide (1657-1723)
It has been two years since I became “sight free,” and I am just beginning to perceive the
blessings of blindness.

tio stib, 2015
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Blind Man’s Bluff

Hiding Behind Blindness

Recently, a friend called me out. “Tio,” he taunted, “Your hiding behind your blindness. You’re using blindness as a crutch, an excuse to run away from life.”

I said nothing, but a small stirring inside told me there was truth in his words.

With the aid of time and a long walk along the waterfront, I can now admit my friend’s observation was dead on.

Having survived months of despair and suicidal thoughts, I’ve now swung over to the other extreme. Okay, I’m blind, that’s the way it is, now I simply survive the best I can and stay out of everyone else’s way. No need to be heroic. A blind man has already climbed Mt. Everest. At my point in life, no need to prove anything to anybody.

That worked for a while. I’ve enough money in the bank to live a modest, comfortable life. My wife and I don’t drive now which limits our daily distance traveled to a range of blocks instead of miles. Fortunately, most everything we want or need is available in minutes by foot. All well and good for my physical existence, but what about my spiritual self?

This is where I’ve sold myself short, chosen to hide behind blindness as an excuse to stop living my dreams. My friend, who knows that I’m not content to sit long on the river bank as others paddle by in the center of the stream challenging their dreams, threw water in my face.

It’s true. It’s easy to be blind and get special attention, to let others do things for me that I just don’t want to bother doing. It’s easy to let my wife do all the cooking because I don’t want to relearn cooking as a blind person. It’s easy to stop exercising because I don’t believe I’ll be climbing any more mountains. I’ve become complacent, overly comfortable with a small life that demands little from me. Sometimes I think I’m just waiting to die.

I sold myself a lie. I told myself that being blind now keeps me from living the my dream, building inspired teams creating better world dreams.

A blind man’s bluff.

The bigger truth is that my blindness makes me even more powerful and capable of doing such things. Why? Because blindness has forced me to do the one thing I’ve always shortchanged.

Sight free, I’m now forced to listen.

Blindness has opened my heart to hear the infinite harmonies of love. With this keen awareness I can better build the relationships to launch world changing dreams.

I’m back on the River of Life thanks to a little truth from my friend.

Yours to count on,

Tio Stib

Tio Stib Signature

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