Pocket Scrapbooking with Project Life

Cultivate a good life and record it.



monday motivation

I just wanted to pass along something that one of my Project Real Life students shared with us. Apparently this is a poem that was found written on the wall in Mother Teresa’s home for children in Calcutta or something. I haven’t done the research to know more about the details, but it doesn’t really matter. The message is powerful and a great reminder to all of us.

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

Thank you Marie for sharing this.

Part of cultivating a good life is forgiving, being kind, honest, and sincere, doing good, and giving your best. Yes. Good stuff.


17 Responses

  1. Denise says:

    Thank you for this.

  2. Margaret says:

    Needed to hear this today! Thank you for sharing!

  3. Sarah says:

    Love it, good way to start off this last week in January, 2013

  4. I love this! thank u for sharing, it has made my day!

  5. Jenny says:

    Beautiful sentiment. Goes nicely with Martina McBride’s song, “Anyway”. Love that too!

  6. amyptucson says:

    Wonderful and heartening to see this again!

  7. Felicia Young says:

    This is such a POWERFUL MESSAGE! Love this, thanks for sharing this.

  8. Nicky from Okotoks says:


  9. Jacki Armes says:

    I saw this same verse on a card in a store while on vacation, and bought it. Not to send it to anyone, just to have. I eventually decided to cut the front of the card from the back, and made a shadowbox feature out of it. I have it hanging in my home office. Thanks for sharing, Becky!

  10. Elizabeth says:

    Becky –
    This was written by a man named Kent Keith in the 1960’s when he was a sophomore at Harvard. His poem has been quoted a lot. He wrote a book about the poem called “Anyway.” I bought the book several years ago, it is a good book, he has written other books which are also inspirational as well. If you search for “Anyway” under books on Amazon you will find it. It is easy to read a chapter a night.
    Below is the editorial review from Amazon.com:
    Amazon.com Review
    As the story goes, author Kent M. Keith was a sophomore at Harvard University in the 1960s when he first wrote “The Paradoxical Commandments,” a manifesto about doing good in a crazy, ungrateful world. These commandments are the basis of his repackaged and expanded book Anyway. Since his Harvard days, Keith’s commandments have taken on a life of their own. They have been quoted by the Boy Scouts of America and written on inspirational office memos, classroom handouts, and Internet sites around the world. They have even been discovered in Mother Teresa’s children’s home in Calcutta. Now Keith has stepped forward to explain his commandments and speak to his credo for doing “the right thing.” Readers will probably recognize the commandments:

    1. People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered. Love them anyway.
    2. If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Do good anyway.
    3. If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.
    4. The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
    5. Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway.
    6. 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.
    7. People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs. Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
    8. What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway.
    9. People really need help but may attack you if you do help them. Help people anyway.
    10. Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you have anyway.

    No doubt about it–these are provocative and encouraging statements, reminding us that there are no guarantees or tangible rewards for doing good in the world. Each commandment gets its own chapter, where Keith elaborates on the theme with personal anecdotes, famous stories, and advice. Though Keith is obviously a gifted and wise leader, the words and explanations surrounding each commandment often feel like overkill. As in Robert Fulghum’s All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, these guidelines ultimately make a better poster than a book. Even so, fans of the original “Paradoxical Commandments” will certainly enjoy meeting the voice and integrity of the man behind the words. –Gail Hudson –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
    About the Author
    Kent M. Keith earned his B.A. from Harvard and was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford and Waseda University in Tokyo. He holds a law degree as well as a doctorate in education. Keith has served in the cabinet of the governor of Hawaii, and has also been an attorney, and a university president. Currently, he is the vice-president of Development and Communications for the YMCA of Honolulu.

  11. Stephanie P says:

    LOVE this! Thank you for sharing!!

  12. Katie says:

    I feel like I’ve heard this before but for some reason, reading it today hit me right between the eyes. And then they welled up with tears. Thank you for posting this!

  13. […] Higgins shared this on her blog the other day. Let’s just say it was exactly what I needed this week.  I’ve been hurt, […]

  14. {leah} says:

    Thanks for posting this. I’ve heard bits and pieces, but never all of it together. It was exactly what I needed to hear this week. :)