Liberation is Made One Choice at a Time

poetry

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Liberation is Made One Choice at a Time

I choose…to forgive,
Though others wouldn’t.
And though I have every right not to,
Knowing the benefits of forgiveness I make this choice freely.
You may choose not to forgive me, this I have no control over.

I choose…to respect others,
Though often I’m disrespected myself.
To strive to appreciate, understand and value others,
Knowing the benefits of respecting others, I make this choice freely.
You may choose not to respect me, this I have no control over.

I choose…to care,
Even though it is not always easy.
Recognizing that its opposite is merely negation,
Knowing the benefits of caring I make this choice freely.
You may choose not to care about me, this I have no control over.

 I choose…to always be your friend,
Even though you’re not always a good friend to me.
Accepting that self cherishing is the root of all suffering,
Knowing the benefits of cherishing others, I make this choice freely.
You may choose not to be my friend, this I have no control over.
 
I choose…to be kind towards others,
Though others are often cruel towards me,
For hatred can never defeat hatred, only kindness prevails.
Knowing the benefits of kindness I make this choice freely.
You may choose not to be kind towards me, this I have no control over.
 
I choose…to be strong,
Though others may try to marginalize me,
Recognizing that they are merely seeing me through their own fears.
Knowing the benefits of self confidence, I make this choice freely.
You may choose not to recognize my strength, this I have no control over.
 
I choose…to be excellent,
In my intention, character and deed.
To go beyond the norm, to uncover my true potential,
Knowing the benefits of diligence, I make this choice freely.
You may choose to be an obstacle to my progress, this I have no control over.

I choose…to become a ‘lion among men’.
Though this long path I must walk alone,
I know the Buddhas clearly point the way.

– Tenzin Tharpa