Do It Anyway: A Poem And A Prayer…
In 1968, Dr. Kent Keith, a young college student leader, wrote a booklet to help other youth leaders. It was titled: The Paradoxical Commandments. Years later, the poem/prayer surfaced as an amended version attributed to Mother Teresa; renamed Do It Anyway. It was inscribed on a wall in her living quarters, and many who passed through stopped to note and cherish the inspiring words.
This version is attributed to Mother Teresa
People are often unreasonable, irrational, 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 unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.
Dr Kent Keith Original author/copyright
People still associate it with her name but the author is Dr. Kent Keith. I have added both versions to this post; the first version, (above), renamed Do It Anyway, is attributed to Mother Teresa and known and cherished by many people around the world. The original version, (below), started life as The Paradoxical Commandments and was crafted by Dr Keith. Have you ever come across a creative project attributed to someone else?
The Original Version: The Paradoxical Commandments
by Dr. Kent M. Keith
People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you 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 men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down
by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.
© 1968, 2001 Kent M. Keith
Dr Keith has a Facebook group page where people gather to be inspired by his writings and to share their memories of the first time they came across the poem. The true test of great creativity is when it’s message can go through a transformation, even subtly, and still be used to uplift mankind. I hope you enjoyed the pieces above. What do you know about the poem? Have you heard it before? Have a blessed weekend!
“The Paradoxical Commandments” were written by Dr. Kent M. Keith in 1968 as part of a booklet for student leaders.
Positive Motivation Tip: Life is filled with ups and downs. Sometimes everything falls into place and sometimes, it takes a bit of meandering to get to our goal…. Keep on moving forward anyway.
PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos from my personal collection.