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  • Writer's pictureAnna Maria De Guid

The Anyway Poem

Updated: Oct 3, 2023

A poem can be found on a wall of the Missionaries of Charity building in India. Many think that Mother Teresa wrote this poem. They are only half right. The author, Dr. Kent M. Keith, wrote the original "10 Paradoxical Commandments" found in a booklet he wrote when he was a sophomore at Harvard University:

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 will win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway. 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. Build anyway. 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. © Copyright Kent M. Keith 1968, renewed 2001


Mother Teresa revised the poem to a shorter version that's impactful and hits the nail on the head with regard to living one's life.


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.

The last two lines are what we should remember always.

 

My name's Anna Maria, and I publish a new video on YouTube's Touched by Grace Today and a new post on my blog touchedbygrace.today every Friday! (Day may change due to holidays.) Check out Catholicmom.com for my other articles! If you've been #tbgtoday, feel free to share your story of grace here.


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