So my team did this thing where we all wrote each other encouragement letters. (Which were really just letters filled to the brim with ego-boosting compliments, scripture verses, and sometimes taped on pebbles or drawings of...poop--I'm not going into that one. We weren't allowed to read our encouragement letters until the trip was over. Needless to say, someone was appointed to take care of my encouragement letters for me because the temptation was too much. (I spent my time concocting plans like how I would say I needed to get something out of the person's backpack who was "taking care of my letters", snatch the letters, hide them somewhere on my person, and then read them secretly in the airplane bathroom on the flight home. Don't judge, OK!)
When the trip was over and the letters were finally in my rightful possession, I rushed through each of them, simultaneously "awh"ing, laughing, and crying. (It was like The Hills on steroids.) Even though each individual letter was a treasure, Bryan's was one of the most impacting. Even though it's been nearly five months, every time I read it, I'm convicted more and more. He took Mother Teresa's famous "Do it Anyway" prayer and Bryan-fied it. It now happily lives on my mirror and I take it down constantly take it down, lay out my life for examination before me, and then mentally place the letter's message over it and see if things line up. They never do, but the words are wise instructions that help motivate me to strive for a better life and way of living.
The "Do it Anyway" prayer--Bryan-fied:
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 your are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest people with the biggest ideas can be show down by the smallest people with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for the underdog anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
People really need help, but may attack you if you help them.
Give the world the best you've got and you'll get kicked in the teeth. [Oh Bryan.]
Give the world the best you've got anyway.