“Anyway” by Mother Teresa

This poem was reported to be found in 1997 inscribed on the wall of Mother Teresa’s children home in Calcutta, India so it was widely attributed to her. Its association with  Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity has made it popular worldwide, the spirit in which they lived their lives.

Anyway
by 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, is it between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.

However, an article in the New York Times on March 8, 2002 wrote that the original version of this poem, The Paradoxical Commandments, was written by Dr. Kent M. Keith. The said poem is also shown below.

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 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

One response to this post.

  1. Thanks for the poems, especially the original version. I was looking for it. I’ve just copied it from your blog.

    Reply

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