Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Love Them Anyway

The Paradoxical Commandments were written by Kent M. Keith in 1968 as part of a booklet for student leaders. For more than thirty years, they have circled the globe, been graced on refrigerators, featured in speeches, and even put up on the wall of a children’s home in Calcutta, India by Mother Teresa herself.

I think they are a powerful articulation of compassion, and a call to selfless love that would change the world. Even though I am terrible at carrying them out, I post them here as an inspiration to us all. You can find out more information on them at Kent Keith’s website,


There are various versions of the Paradoxical Commandments circulating throughout cyberspace. The one below isn’t an exact match to the poem on Dr. Keith’s site, but I love it “anyway,” so here it is.

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


And here is one of my favorite prayers by St. Therese of Lisieux, my patron saint.

May today there be peace within.
May I trust God that I am exactly where I am meant to be.
May I not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May I use these gifts that I have received, and pass on the love that has been given to me.
May I be content knowing I am a child of God.
Let this presence settle into my bones, and allow my soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.


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  • Elizabeth

    Oh, even though I have read these words many times, I never fail to feel the power and inspiration within them.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Jaymee Duran

    I love the prayer from St. Therese. Thanks. Hope you’re feeling better.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Anne S.

    Another wonderful post. Food for the soul! I just had to print out! Thanks for finding and sharing these gems.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Chris

    Take care of yourself, Therese. If you find that, at the end of your planned appendectomy down time, you need more time, please go ahead and take it! I think I speak for most of your fans when I say we’d rather have you take care of yourself than have you feel obligated to get back to work too soon. We will all be right here.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Wildstar

    Will pray for you, Therese. Rest in the arms of Jesus. He is for you and loves you.
    I wanted to read one of your other articles listed on this web page but as usual, Beliefnet’s tech support is busy playing Halo instead of maintaining the site. The page was listed as unavailable even though the link is listed today, July 20th. Too bad. I have to put up with endless popups and other advertisement crap just to read anything worthwhile. It is also interesting that the posting date for the article is listed as November 11,2011, which is months away. In fact, all the other articles listed have future dates.

  • thomas sabo sale

    Another wonderful post. Food for the soul! I just had to print out! Thanks for finding and sharing these gems.

  • jack foley

    Excellent post..

    It’s all about faith… Be the person you aspire to be.. – Give the world your best and you will receive a bountiful harvest..


  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Lynn

    Thankyou I too have read these words before and the reminder was a welcome with-in my soul…I think we all need to stop and be still and smell the roses and listen to the inner wisdom of love and contentment..what we rush around for here in this society will not be here in 100 years lets put more practice in what will be the most important thing for all of us a 100 years from now… blessings to all…Love Lynn

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