Last week on “The Voice” one of the contestants sang an inspiring version of “Anyway.” After a little googling, I learned that Mother Teresa of Calcutta had a version of this poem on a wall of her children’s home in Calcutta. The original “paradoxical commandments” had been written by Kent M. Keith, a Harvard student, writing for a student publication on leadership. Mother Teresa added some to the original version and must have thought these were good words for children to live by. At this time of graduations, some of these paradoxes may be helpful advice for all who are developing a personal code of conduct.
Some of the paradoxes include:
“People are often illogical, unreasonable,, 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. What you spent years building may be destroyed overnight; build anyway. The good you do today, people may often forget tomorrow; do it anyway.”
Doing things anyway frees us from the angst of worrying about wasting time and effort on things or people that may or may not work out as we have planned. Doing things anyway is a bit like planting seeds, watering them, and resisting the urge to keep digging them up to see results. A graduation happens after many days of going to school, meeting deadlines, completing projects, and overcoming setbacks. It is the culmination of whether we felt like it or not, having kept on doing it anyway. What a reason to celebrate!