Once upon a time, a wonderful kind loving man sent an email to a sweet silly scared girl.
She was upset about something, and in the middle of that upset she blurted out, “if that happens, I will lose all respect for myself”. Whatever that “that happens” might have been.
He did not interject and say anything while she was busy being upset. The next day he sent her an email which contained the best words anyone has ever said to me. Yup, that sweet silly but not-so-scared-anymore girl happens to be me.
I generally prefer to stay away from claiming that this is the best or that is the best. There is so much around that is so wonderful in so many different ways. However, I truly feel, in all the years of my life so far, these are indeed the best words any friend, family, fellow human being has ever said to me.
These words have stood by me and have been a source of strength at some of my most testing times – when I was in the midst of stuff that did not make sense to any of my near and dear ones, including myself, including that kind loving man himself. During those times these words gave me the strength to plod on, even if the plodding on seemed aimless, clueless. These words gave me the strength to keep faith in the choices I had made, keep faith in myself, despite dark dank depression.
This is what he wrote:
You said that if certain events happen, you will lose respect for yourself. Even in the worst case, never, never, lose respect for yourself. Personally, with my unshakable faith in life and God, my own respect for myself is not negotiable. I may fail, I may be stupid, I may be insulted, but I am a creation of God. I must have a role in this grand design of universe, so I must be what I am. Similarly my approach to life is that I have a right to want and ask, but whatever life gives me, I accept it with gratitude. Since I can express myself best in poetry, I wrote a poem on these convictions a few years ago. That poem is attached.
~ Vinod Tewary
I put in the italics to highlight the words I now pass on to you my friend. Consider it, make it yours, use it if you wish.
Personally, with my unshakable faith in life and God, my own respect for myself is not negotiable.
I may fail, I may be stupid, I may be insulted, but I am a creation of God.
I must have a role in this grand design of universe.
So I must be what I am.
I have a right to want and ask.But whatever life gives me, I accept it with gratitude.
And dear friend, this is the poem he attached with the email. It is in Hindi.
This is the English translation of the poem.
If you feel these words may be of use to someone, please share this post with them too.
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Image credit: fungyung.com
Dear Vani, your note sharing Dr. Tewary’s wisdom and encouragement helped me a lot too. Thank you!
Ruchi, so glad that you find the words helpful. Thank you for leaving a comment too.
बहुत ख़ूब…. आप ओर सर दोनों ही😊
So simple, so straight, so sublime. …..thee way he put these words before a person in distress is a mark of his understanding of human psyche.The way you share it for readers marks your honesty and concern. Proud to know both of you.
Thank you Sudarshan, for such a sweet comment.