Mother Teresa and Dr. Kent M. Keith

I stumbled upon The Paradoxical Commandments, or a variation thereof, yesterday on a poster at a medical practitioner’s office.

The words moved me and had a calming effect. I took a photograph of the poster and looked up the origins today.

The original version I read is reflected below:

The Paradoxical Commandments by Dr. Kent M. Keith

“People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centred.
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 favour 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

A version of the commandments that has been circulating on the web under Mother Teresa’s name is a version sometimes called “The Final Analysis” because of its last two lines.

Here is one example of that version, being the same version on the poster I saw:

“People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centred;
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 friends; 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 your best anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God;

It was never between you and them anyway.”

Read Kent Keith’s comments here.

 

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7 thoughts on “Mother Teresa and Dr. Kent M. Keith”

    1. I really enjoyed visiting her tomb. We just sat and pondered while some of the nuns came in, lighting candles and praying. A few years back I read a short bio of her life; it had a profound effect

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