We posted a poem popularly called “Mother Teresa’s Poem.” Of it reader Wally Johnston says: “What is now called “Mother Teresa’s Poem: was written by an undergraduate student in Harvard in 1968, KENT M. KEITH, who holds the copyright. It was originally called the ‘Paradoxical Commandments.’ Kent is my sister’s son.” Here is what is said on the Internet about the poem.
The Paradoxical Commandments were written by Kent M. Keith in 1968 as part of a booklet for student leaders. This website provides information about the origin of the Paradoxical Commandments and the many places they have been sighted over the years. You can purchase books and products based on the Paradoxical Commandments, join the “Live the Paradoxical Commandments Anyway” Facebook page, and share your story about how the Paradoxical Commandments have made a difference in your life. You can also learn about the author and contact him directly.
For more than thirty years, the Paradoxical Commandments have circled the globe. They have been put on walls and refrigerator doors, featured in speeches and articles, preached from pulpits, and shared extensively on the web. They have been used by business leaders, military commanders, government officials, religious leaders, university presidents, social workers, teachers, rock stars, parents, coaches, and students. Mother Teresa thought the Paradoxical Commandments were important enough to put up on the wall of her children’s home in Calcutta.
The Paradoxical Commandments have touched the hearts of millions of people all over the world. We hope that the Paradoxical Commandments will touch your heart, too!
Anyway: The Paradoxical Commandments
by Kent M. Keith
People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God;
It was never between you and them anyway.