Both the title and the following lines of the quote have been borrowed from Reader’s Digest, Dec. 1982
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 minds. Think big anyway. People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs. Fight for some underdogs anyway. What you spent years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway. Give the world the best you have, and you will get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.
The massive transition currently underway, in the garb of the COVID-19 pandemic, carries in its wake a slew of opportunities that we might never have been able to imagine. Practically every life has been affected by the spread of this scary phenomenon that may strike anyone, anytime, anywhere, without the least bit of warning. No wonder we see the most vulnerable members of our society holes up within the confines of their homes for over two-and-a-half months.
Dear readers, you may get confused with the logic of the above quote concerning the situation thrust upon us by some unknown crux of fate. But give yourself a moment and recollect variously reasonable, as well as unreasonable traits of human nature. These came to the fore in the immediate aftermath of the unfolding saga of disease, death, misery, and overwhelming uncertainty. I am sure you will have a valid answer and a lot to learn about decision-making from here onwards.
For me, the realization of human frailty came after I chanced upon the above-titled article. I was going through my long-cherished notes, lost in the stack of old books, novels, stories, and other exciting materials from the University-days. Frail may be a simple word. And yet, it takes away all the strength we pride on, and the highest level of endurance that we never waver to boast about. It renders us powerless compared to the immense success that brings us a never-ending swarm of so-called friends and sycophants. We have repeatedly witnessed how a destructive mind in a remote corner of the world can quickly bring down our so-called ‘House of Cards.’ Remember 9/11, or the unfortunate genocide against Armenian Christians in 1895, or the Holocaust? How untrue the belief that our life-work shall continue to endure till eternity!
If you are wondering about my intent behind this ‘sermon-like’ outburst, please rest assured I am not a “Sage-on-the-Stage,” but a simple “Guide-by-Your-Side.” The above quote gives us every plausible reason to follow our strengths for the good of the public. Not only will such an act leave behind a legacy of goodness, but it might also motivate many others to follow our path. And be on their way to sustained stardom, in the aftermath of uncertainty.
- We need not be scared of the ‘unreasonable, the illogical and the self-centered.’ Time will bring us closer to a far more effective circle of reasonable and logical well-wishers.
- Sometimes, our best intentions come under a cloud of mischief. At times like these, the incompetent ones will cry foul, just to hide their own lack of foresight, intent, and incapability.
- Honesty and frankness are best manipulated by diplomats, to their advantage. Alas, the common man ends up as ‘the wrong guy, at the wrong place, at the wrong time.’
- But for the good intentions of innumerable Essential-services Personnel, both in the aftermath of 9/11 and the current pandemic, we would be in a much worse situation. Alas, not many of us will remember their death-defying contribution to save lives they never knew and would never know anyway.
- Thinking out-of-the-box has always invited ridicule. And yet, humble upbringing powered by meager resources and an iron-will continues to harbor the greatest minds, most profound thinkers, and outstanding inventors this universe has ever known. Almost all of them came from poor families. If only these ‘geniuses’ allowed their detractors to prevail, we would be so miserable.
- Looking back at a little child, learning to take his or her first step, we can see the depth of the message. The parents never accept the child’s failure at the initial stage and abandon their efforts. Why?
- Legacy is never created by what we build, but by what we give. Life itself is transitory; nothing will last forever, so why create something of lasting value, right? Wrong, build the urge to share and care, to help the needy. We continue to love, respect, and honor the brightest among us, through centuries, that untiringly gave us the means to a better life.
- No matter how big your heart and to what extent you will go in your quest to help the needy, there would be lurking behind you, the elements bent upon stealing your thunder. They want it all, without making any efforts to earn it. Fortunately for us, in modern times, opportunities are everywhere. The only thing we need is resolute determination to succeed, and we shall be winners as well. Let the mischief-makers survive in a hand-to-mouth fashion, as long as they do not change their ways. Getting bogged down by the detractors is definitely not a virtue of leadership or even true humanity.
We have every reason to believe in the human spirit of survival because that is precisely what we have been using since times immemorial.
In all fairness, let us put our frailty aside and work cohesively. We may never get back to the same old normal, but it does not imply the growing uncertainty will result in naught. We have every reason to believe in the human spirit of survival because that is precisely what we have been using since times immemorial. We have beaten every possible odd since the Stone-age. We have survived two World Wars. We have also invented many tools to multiply our productivity, to augment our earnings, and to create easily-affordable novelties, gadgets, and gizmos for the masses. We have been blessed by innumerable predecessors that gave us vaccines to treat serious illnesses. We have also visited the deepest depths of the ocean and climbed beyond space to explore other planets. Does it not give us sufficient reason to stay the course? Or would you let ill-assumed frailty overturn the proverbial apple-cart and go back to the primitive stage of nothingness?