Paradoxical Commandments

Paradoxical Commandments

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 may destroy overnight;

Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, others 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 all between you and God;

It was never between you and them anyway.

“Paradoxical Commandments” is often attributed to Mother Teresa of Calcutta, as a copy hung on her wall, but it was written by Kent when he was 19, and first published by the Harvard Student Agencies in 1968.

While we can

I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.—Rabindranath Tagore (1861– 1941)

Only during the few years of this life are we given the privilege of serving each other and Christ. We will have heaven forever, but have only a short time for service here, and therefore must not waste the opportunity.—Sadhu Sundar Singh (1889–1933)

Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.—Martin Luther (1483–1546)

How to build a better world in one simple step

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone would simply do what Jesus said to do—love our neighbors as ourselves?1 But when people don’t treat others with much love, they’re going to have problems—and they do! It can safely be said that all of the evils in the world today have their root cause in people’s lack of love for God and one another. Nevertheless, the simple love of God and one another is still God’s solution, even in such a complex, confused, and highly complicated society as that of the world today. If we love God, we can love and respect others too. We can then follow His rules of life, liberty, and the possession of happiness, and all will be well and happy in Him.David Brandt Berg (1919–1994)

1. See Matthew 22:39

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