Although “The Paradoxical Commandments” are often attributed to Mother Theresa, I have read they were actually written by Kent M. Keith when he was 19, and a sophomore at Harvard College. It is said that Mother Theresa thought so highly of “The Paradoxical Commandments” that she put them up on the wall of her children’s home in Calcutta. When a journalist saw them on the wall, she assumed Mother Theresa had written them.
Who wrote those inspiring words is not as important as their message; therefore, I give thanks to both Kent M. Keith and Mother Theresa: Mr Keith for writing “The Paradoxical Commandments,” and Mother Theresa for bringing his inspired declarations to the attention of the world.
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; Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; Build anyway.
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 just never be enough; Give the world the best you have anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it’s all between you and God; It was never between you and them anyway.