Be Positive Anyway

Thank you for teaching me about the getting and giving attitudes, and for taking me to reflect on the truth contained in the words of the Prayer of Saint Francis, “It is in giving that we receive.”

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“How ungrateful you are! This is a free event, with free food and drinks, and a free venue with air-conditioned, table and chairs. You didn’t pay anything to attend. Why do you complain? Why do you criticize? Why, instead of focusing on what you consider wrong, don’t you choose to look at everything that is right? Why, instead of uttering words of criticism, don’t you choose to praise and thank the organizers who have put their own resources, their time, work, effort and money into creating the event? You are a guest, invited to someone else’s home. How dare you criticize the hosts? How ungrateful you are! Show some gratitude. If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything.”

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Come with an attitude of gratitude, grateful to those who have offered a beautiful and comfortable venue to be used for free, grateful for the work others have done to organize the event, and for the time and money they have spent. Don’t complain. Don’t come to criticize and find fault. Come with a desire to help. And if you feel that things aren’t good enough — if you see something that can be improved — take it upon yourself to do it. Think about the work others have done, and volunteer to do something yourself. Give your contribution.

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Thank you for teaching me about the getting and giving attitudes, and for taking me to reflect on the truth contained in the words of the Prayer of Saint Francis, “It is in giving that we receive.”

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When you feel the urge to react, take a deep breath and let go. Recognize that the need to fight, the need to defend and attack, the need to prove that you are right, all those needs stem from the ego. You don’t need to engage in any battle. Let go.

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The verses below reportedly were written on a wall of Mother Teresa’s home for children in Calcutta, India, and are widely attributed to her. Some sources say that the words below were written on the wall of Mother Teresa’s own room. In any case, their association with Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity has made them popular worldwide, expressing as they do, the spirit in which they lived their lives. They seem to be based on a composition originally by Kent Keith, but much of the second half has been re-written in a more spiritual way. Both versions are shown below.

Mother-Teresa-Quotes

1. This is the version that was found written on a wall of Mother Teresa’s home for children in Calcutta:

People are often unreasonable, irrational, 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 unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.
Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.
Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten.
Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.
Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.

~ this version is credited to Mother Teresa

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2. The Original Kent M. Keith’s Version:

The Paradoxical Commandments

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.
People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

~ Kent M. Keith

“The Paradoxical Commandments” were written by Kent M. Keith in 1968 as part of a booklet for student leaders.

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http://prayerfoundation.org/mother_teresa_do_it_anyway.htm

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http://peacefulways.org/store/

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– “Peaceful Ways – The Power of Making Your Wishes Come True”

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– “Pay Attention! Be Alert! Discovering Your Route to Happiness”

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