Quote of the Day: Do it anyway


“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.” – from Mother Teresa’s wall

Deep down we usually know exactly what the right thing to do is in any situation. But if we simply don’t want to do it, we won’t have any trouble coming up with an endless list of lame excuses to justify not doing it. In fact, some of the excuses may even seem like really good ones.

Do the right thing anyway. That’s what saints are made from.

*update: I was informed in the comments that this was not actually said by Mother Teresa but was found on her wall.  It seems it was adapted from a guy named Kent Keith.  But I actually like Mother Teresa’s slight adaption a little better, so I left it up there.  What do you think?

9 comments Add comment

Marsha Cashdollar February 16, 2009 at 12:18 pm

Mother Teresa had so much wisdom…

C LaDeaux August 10, 2009 at 5:59 pm

Actually, Mother Teresa did not write that. It was written by Kent M. Keith, but Mother Teresa had it on the wall of her convent. It was originally called “The Ten Paradoxical Commandments for Christians”, and he wrote it when he was a 19-year-old sophomore at Harvard.


Rosemary November 23, 2009 at 8:38 pm

I’m responding to your comment about “Do It Anyway.” I heard the words sung by a choral group about two years ago. As you already know, while Dear Teresa wrote it on the wall of her convent, it would appear to be a paraphrasing of Mr. Keith’s original work.. I have asked “music” friends and have researched the web with every known word/words I can use to locate the sheet music. I’m unable to find the sheet music and I don’t remember the name of the choral group! Anyone out there know about this charming hymn-like rendition of MT/KK poem/essay? I remember it sounded somewhat like a “glorified” Gregorian chant (it was a tad more melodic). Would love to hear from you!

Christopher September 20, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Rosemary – We have sung that song in The One Heart Choir here in Santa Rosa, CA. It’s a blast and a half to sing and the congregation gets a big kick out of our performance. It was put to music by Eric Des O’del. Hope this helps!

Matthew Warner August 11, 2009 at 10:09 am

Thanks for the correction! I updated the post. God bless!

Catholic debating pro-life April 23, 2010 at 10:52 pm

I like Keith’s version just a tad better because frankly I don’tthink it’s possible to guarantee EARTHLY (big emphasis) happiness-you can make it more likely, yes, but sometimes bad things happen and you just won be happy and serene.

I think the best version would be to combine the two. Mother Teresa’s final bit, the quote, “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.”

should be added, and I’d remove the bit about happiness and serenity. Also, I’d keep Keith’s quote about underdogs.

For me, these commandments tell me that even when you’re not happy and it’s not easy and you’re being shunned, you still be the best you can be not for your sake, but for others’ sake and God’s sake. They are my life creed.

Catholic debating pro-life April 24, 2010 at 11:28 pm

Keith has an eleventh paradoxical commandment:

“The world is full of violence, injustice, starvation, disease, and environmental destruction. Have faith anyway.”

I’m sure Mother Teresa would approve.

MJ English December 12, 2012 at 7:48 am

I read this inspiration daily…..I love it…..it’s what makes you be able to get through another day, when dealing with rude, ignorant people…….

Hiroothadani June 23, 2013 at 9:41 pm

Amazing Phrase ..Hatts off to Mother Teresa

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