Happy day to you!!
Though it is sometimes cold and lonely walking the path of our life,
let these words become a part of you inside and out,
and that once disheartening pilgrimage
becomes a joyous journey and
a voluminous voyage full of warmth, community and love.
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
Be honest and frank anyway.
Be happy anyway.
Do good anyway.
Give the world your best anyway.
It was never between you and them anyway.
According to Lucinda Vardey, in Mother Teresa: A Simple Path (New York: Ballantine Books, 1995), page 185, there was “a sign on the wall of Shishu Bhavan, the children’s home in Calcutta.” This is what the sign said:
People are unreasonable, illogical, 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 win false friends and true enemies,
The good you do will be forgotten tomorrow,
DO GOOD ANYWAY
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable,
BE HONEST AND FRANK ANYWAY
What you spent years building may be
People really need help
but may attack you if you 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’VE GOT ANYWAY.
This version includes eight of the original ten Paradoxical Commandments. The two that are missing are the sixth (Think big anyway) and the seventh (Fight for a few underdogs anyway). The wording of the other eight commandments is very close to Kent Keith’s original, written in 1968.
No matter where it originated, and in any case, these words are a marvelous way to give our lives meaning, and by giving, doing, and living for others, we indeed make our own lives worth living at all.