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"People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway."

— Mother Teresa

Update: thanks to those who've pointed out that Dr. Kent Keith was the original person to come up with these ideas and that Mother Teresa built upon them. Appreciate the clarifications all.
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38 comments
 
Thanks for sharing such nice thought by the great lady.
Luz Bay
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Amen. Mother Theresa rocks!
 
My friend Tim had a chance to work with her in Calcutta. He said that she was so amazing. Changed his life.
 
Reminds me of a Mother Teresa Quote:When there is hope, there is faith, when there is Faith, there is Love and When there is Love, Miracles Happen!
 
Inspirational, especially in Times of Trouble
 
One of my favorite saints. So true. I really love that last line. :-) And now, I'm off to church to gather more grace to live with kindness, forgiveness, and love. Blessings to everyone!
 
+Darren Rowse I'm not sure you are aware of this, but what you quote is Mother Teresa's version of Dr. Kent Keith's original Paradoxical Commandments. Mother Teresa thought the Paradoxical Commandments were important enough to put up on the wall of her children's home in Calcutta in the form you quote and I have in my office at work and in my iPhone.

They are words to live by and words to comfort.
 
Marcus Aurelius said similar things in his Meditations. Except the bit at the end about God, which doesn't add much to the message anyway.
 
Seconding that Mother Teresa didn't say these things. I saw Kent Keith speak a few years ago and he told the story on how surprised he was to see some things he wrote as a college counselor being attributed to someone else. Would be great if you corrected it +Darren Rowse so many people can see the correction.
 
Thanks for reminding those of us who try ..why we do.
 
Darren - These are great words to live by in business and life. For myself, I've learned that being happy is just as important (if not more) as making a profit. I'd be curious to hear how you think this ethos helps bloggers. 
 
Very nice words, doesn't matter who said them first. It is so important to not expect to be given back all the "good" and "nice" things we do, if you do something expecting that others do same things to you, that is not charity at all. Mother Teresa was such an example of charity,.. "Give until it hurts"
 
+Nacho López I disagree that it's not important who said them. The fact that Mother Teresa never refuted the claims says a lot about her.
 
+Nacho López It does matter as +Darren Rowse knows as a professional writer of material. Having your works attributed to others is wrong, Dr. Keith copyrighted the work in 1968. I don't believe Darren knew, that is why I pointed it out.

Mother Teresa wasn't flaunting what she placed at her Children's Home and she modified it to the version I actually prefer. She just placed them on the wall in hopes that it would help the children. It is others who have attributed the Paradoxical Commandment to her.

The meaning behind the words is very important and words that I love, but so is the knowledge of who originally wrote them.
 
I'm always fearful a posting things like this in public for fear of bashing. Thank you for being so bold to do so, +Darren Rowse. I'll step out on faith and do it anyway. As Mother Teresa says: "For you see, in the end, it was between you (me) and God. It was never between you (me) and them anyway."
 
You never should be afraid or ashamed of who you are +Kimberly A Edwards . Our beliefs are in the end what shapes each one of us and as you've said it yourself, it feels good when seeing you're not alone. Wellcome to the "tribe" as +Seth Godin would put it ;))
 
+Ray Ebersole Unfortunately, I ignored all the copyright thing. What I meant is not to claim who originally said that nor take away the importance of who actually said. I only wanted to say that the meaning of that words is beautiful, no matter who said that, that Doctor, Mother Teresa, you... Simply the meaning, not even thought to "attack" the copyright :P
 
Very touching Darren, Mother Teresa, is someone I admired very much when she was living, and her words live on today! :)
 
What an amazing quote, Darren. Thanks for posting. I've given it a +1.
 
This is how I have felt all year. I needed to see this today. Thanks for posting,
 
... A gentle, poignant, and timely reminder. Thanks. :}
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