At a Rotary Club meeting in 1997, a member stood up and declared that he would like to honor the recently deceased Mother Teresa by reading a poem she had written called Anyway.
Fellow Rotarian Kent Keith bowed his head in contemplation, and was astonished when he recognized the poem as a version of The Paradoxical Commandments, which he himself had authored back in 1968 at the age of nineteen in a book for student leaders. As Keith himself writes:
“I went up after the meeting and asked him where he got the poem. He said it was in a book about Mother Teresa, but he couldn’t remember the title. So the next night I went to a bookstore and started looking through the shelf of books about the life and works of Mother Teresa. I found it, on the last page before the appendices in Mother Teresa: A Simple Path. The Paradoxical Commandments had been reformatted to look like a poem, and they had been retitled “Anyway.” There was no author listed, but at the bottom of the page, it said: “From a sign on the wall of Shishu Bhavan, the children’s home in Calcutta.”
Mother Teresa thought that the Paradoxical Commandments were important enough to put up on the wall of her children’s home. That really hit me. I wanted to laugh, and cry, and shout–and I was getting chills up and down my spine. Perhaps it hit me hard because I had a lot of respect for Mother Teresa, and perhaps because I knew something about children’s homes. Whatever the reason, it had a huge impact on me. That was when I decided to speak and write about the Paradoxical Commandments again, thirty years after I first wrote them.
Indeed, Kent has become a sought-after speaker all over the globe. His presentations and seminars are focused on servant leadership and finding personal meaning at home and at work. In 2002, his inspiring book, Anyway: The Paradoxical Commandments, became a national bestseller. His masterpiece, both in its original form and the version favored by Mother Teresa, have appeared in everything from a Superman book to a Martina McBride hit song (see the above video) to books by Wayne Dyer and Stephen Covey. (Ironically, that same book by Dyer was directly impacted by the story he contributed to my book, Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything.)
Click here for more details on how Keith’s Paradoxical Commandments have been misattributed.
Personally, I prefer the version of the Paradoxical Commandments often misattributed to Mother Teresa. It never fails to inspire me:
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;
. . . Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
. . . Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
. . . Build anyway.
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 was never between you and them anyway.
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ABOUT PHIL BOLSTA
Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World, is a road map for living a more peaceful, beautiful life. It’s the one book that explains how dozens of spiritual principles interact, how to weave them together into a cohesive worldview, and how to practically apply this spiritual wisdom to daily life.
Who will benefit from reading Through God’s Eyes?
Anyone who is on a spiritual path, or wants to start one.
Anyone who loves life, or wants to learn how to.
Anyone who is happy, or wants to be happier.
Click on the link below to download a FREE 28-page chapter!
SEE EVERY MOMENT AS A GIFT
Click here to visit the Through God’s Eyes website.
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Here is a two-minute video introduction to Through God’s Eyes.
• an overview of the book
• the complete table of contents
• the Foreword by Caroline Myss
• my Introduction
• chapter excerpts
• a sample end-of-chapter story
• endorsements from authors and thought leaders
Just click on the link below to download your free PDF sampler!
THROUGH GOD’S EYES PDF SAMPLER
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Phil’s eBook, The Logic of Living a Spiritual Life: Supporting a Life of Faith Through Logic and Reason, is now available for 99 cents.
Order it at GodIsLogical.com.
In this eBook, you’ll find answers to questions like:
• What is the cornerstone of a spiritual life, and why?
• What is the secret to liberating yourself from other people’s judgments and expectations?
• How do you reconcile the “free will vs. Divine Will” conundrum?
• Why is there an exception to “Everything happens for a reason”?
Those who worship logic instead of God are only half right. Not only is it logical to believe in God and to live a faith-based life, the existence of a loving, benevolent God that governs all creation is perhaps the only systematic worldview that explains every aspect of life.
Phil is also the author of Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, a collection of 45 inspiring, life-changing stories from prominent authors and thought leaders he interviewed. The roster of storytellers includes Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Neale Donald Walsch, Caroline Myss, Larry Dossey, Rachel Naomi Remen, Bernie Siegel, Dean Ornish, and Christiane Northrup. Sixty Seconds has been translated into four languages: Italian, German, Spanish, and Portuguese. Reading this book is like spending a few minutes face to face with each of the contributors and listening to their personal stories.
Click here to order Sixty Seconds.
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Learn more by visiting the official Sixty Seconds website.
Here is a three-minute video introduction to Sixty Seconds.
Tags: spiritual, inspiring, Kent M. Keith, Kent Keith, Paradoxical Commandments, Mother Teresa, Calcutta, children's home, Do It Anyway, Martina McBride, forgive them anyway, be kind anyway, succeed anyway, build anyway, be happy anyway, do good anyway, give the world the best you've got