The Paradoxical Commandments

I am sure most of you have probably already read this poem before.  For some reason, I’m not sure I have ever seen it before.  My mom gave me a copy the other day, and it’s now on my fridge.  It is often attributed to Mother Teresa, called “The Anyway Poem,” because she had it written on the wall of her children’s home in Calcutta.  However, what she had written is based upon an inspirational poem by Dr. Kent M. Keith entitled “The Paradoxical Commandments.”  Anyway, it really blessed me, and I hope it blesses you, too.  This is a good one to read whenever you feel down and are in need a lift.

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.

Wife to Ren for 23 years. Mom to 4 amazing teens. Writer. Creative. Entrepreneur. God chaser. Disciple maker. I love Jesus, and I love His Church. I inspire, challenge, and encourage women to pursue Jesus wholeheartedly, to lay hold of the abundant life in Christ waiting for them, and to become all God created them to be.


    • Angela

      That’s funny. I actually thought of you when I read it. My one complaint about, though, is that it seems to be based on a rather dim view of humanity. But I liked the “anyway” verses. It’s a good reminder to keep fighting the good fight even when facing discouragement.

  • Shannon

    love this, love her. I worked at her home for the dying in Calcutta for just a day. She wasn’t there that day but the nuns that work there every day were humans to behold. With no fear, we bathed tb patients and sat with them and made them laugh. We fed them and washed their clothes and prayed with them and sang to them. There are people who devote their lives to these acts! And want nothing in return. No recognition, no glamour or even money. That is to live free, huh?

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