Friday, August 3, 2012

Words written on a wall in New York


I asked God for strength, that I might achieve
  I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey...
I asked for health, that I might do greater things
  I was given infirmity, that I might do better things...
I asked for riches, that I might be happy
  I was given poverty, that I might be wise...
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men
  I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God...
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life
  I was given life, that I might enjoy all things...
I got nothing that I asked for -- but everything I had hoped for
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
  I am among all men, most richly blessed!

Author unknown

This creed is hung on a wall at a waiting room of Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, 400 East 34th Street NYC.

    My thoughts: This is a famous creed introduced all over on the internet. This institution must have put it up to help comfort the patients. I feel that these are words from a person who is confronted with death unexpectedly. It seems to be based on the Bible. Yet it is a worthy knowledge.

   The first two phrases signify that when people are too strong they could easily harm others. When you are physically strong, you may feel powerful and enraptured. Then carelessly harm others not only with arm forces but often verbally.  However, we only have one life including the life after-death. And when we think about the later half (the life after-death), it is certainly better to be weak and thoughtful/caring to others. The third and forth phrases teach us that when we focus on getting rich we tend to forget or spend less time on more important matters such as having compassion, love and gratitude.  This is unfortunate when you think about what will happen in the life after-death. When you are poor, you are sort of forced to think about these matters. You will have more chance to think about it. When we suffer, we try to find answers and read books etc.  But if you were not able to guide yourself to the truth, you could also turn into commiting a crime or make big mistakes. When you are poor and yet humble, then you become a true successor. When you are rich and yet humble, you could also be a true successor and manifest wonderful things.
The fifth phrase is most important. It explains about all the rest.  The most important thing to realize is that your life itself is a gift. Poor, sickness
 and everything about your life is an experience. The experiences are the greatest gift. And when you are able to acknowledge that you are able to enjoy everything that happens in your life. To acknowledge that you are a soul and there is a divine purpose for this short period of time on Earth. The purpose is to leave behind a piece of gratitude every step of the way. 

Ikashite-itadaite arigato-gozaimasu
Thank you for letting us live

The author of this poem is unknown. It was first introduced on the bibliography of Dr. Howard A. Rusk.  Dr. Rusk was a prominent physician who was passionate in researching about rehabilitation medicine under WWII. The poem was first given to him on a Christmas card from Adlai Ewing Stevenson II. The poem was written by a soldier who fought the American Civil War on the Southern side. Stevenson found the poem in a church in South Carolina. Rusk showed the poem to a patient. Then the patient showed the poem to another young boy who was suffering from severe cerebral palsy. And he told the boy “this poem is talking about us.” The boy showed the poem to his father and told him the same thing. Then the father said, “no this poem is talking about me.”  Later the poem became the creed of this hospital.