IT’S BETWEEN YOU AND GOD …
People are often unreasonable,
Illogical, 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 false friends and some true enemies;
If you are honest and frank,
People may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building,
Someone could destroy overnight;
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 the best you have,
And it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis,
It is between you and God;
It never was between you and them anyway.
— The Paradoxical Commandments were written by Kent M. Keith in 1968
They have been mistakenly attributed to Mother Theresa. In Mother Teresa: A Simple Path, compiled by Lucinda Vardey (1995), page 185. Eight of the original ten Paradoxical Commandments were reformatted as a poem titled “Anyway.” Vardey reported that it was “a sign on the wall of Shishu Bhavan, the children’s home in Calcutta.”