Mother Teresa's Advice for Living a Good Life

By Mother Teresa of Calcutta
Founder of the Sisters of Charity

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.


We were delighted to find the Paradoxical Commandments (People are

illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.") on your website under the

title "Mother Teresa's Advise for Living a Good Life", attributed to

Mother Teresa.

The Paradoxical Commandments were written by Kent M. Keith for a

student leadership booklet that was published and copyrighted in 1968.


The Paradoxical Commandments subsequently spread throughout the world. Mother

Teresa put them up on the wall of her children's home in Calcutta, which is

why they are sometimes attributed to her. To learn more about the origin of

the Paradoxical Commandments, visit .


Please feel free to continue sharing the Paradoxical Commandments on your

website. However, we would appreciate it if you would use the original

version (found on the above website), attribute the work to Kent M. Keith,

include his copyright notice in small print (Copyright Kent M. Keith 1968,

2001), and provide a link to his website. Thank you very much!


All best wishes  --  Susan Hatch, Assistant to Dr. Keith, Honolulu, Hawaii

Home ] What's New ] Articles ] Bible ] Canon Law ] Dissent ] Faith ] Indulgences ] Liturgy ] Prayers ] Renew ] Saints ] Teachings ] Links ] About Us ] Reviews ] Contact Us ] Our Lord ] Our Lady ] Table of Contents ]