Kent M. Keith. He wrote the poem as an undergraduate, and it has spread around the world often in slightly altered form. In 1997, Keith learned that the poem "The Paradoxical Commandments" had hung on the wall of Mother Teresa's children's home in Calcutta, India, and two decades after writing the original poem, Dr. Keith wrote a book of the same title expanding on the themes of the poem: Anyway: The Paradoxical Commandments: Finding Personal Meaning in a Crazy World.
First, here's the Scripture text from yesterday's service:
Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he's thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don't let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.
(Romans 12:20, 21 - The Message)
One form of The 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;
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
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.