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Do It Anyway

The "High"way or the "Fair"way?

I am ashamed to say that when a friend was telling me a story of how she had been wronged, I immediately took her side, empathized, and advised her to take action toward the one who had wronged her, which would have been fair. She explained to me how she felt. Even if she has been and continues to be wronged, she feels she has been called to remain a positive influence in the life of the one who has wronged her, no matter what. I await to see the final outcome of her stand.

In the meantime, I want to share some words I recall saving in my archives that came to my mind after our conversation. Words that I should reflect on more often. I am now so "conscious" that I need to think long and hard before opining, and consult the Lord in prayer before I spew life-altering advice. After I knew the "beauty" in her heart, God confirmed in so many ways that she was right. The Lord's way is usually not the easy way. I suggested she should deal with this person "fairly" and move on--take the easy way. She continues to endure pain from this one. But we both came to the conclusion that "Love never fails", and it is worth the cost. I don't imagine I would be so happy if God dealt with me "fairly" every time I messed up! He has so much mercy, and so does my friend.

The words below came to my mind that I had heard at a business meeting many years ago about how virtuous living is accomplished in this world by "maintaining" a difficult position and "being" a positive role model. I desire to be a positive role model in the lives of my family and friends and this inspires me. I hope it will inspire you as well.

The following words appear to be based on a composition originally penned by Dr. Kent M. Keith, but much of the second half has been re-written in a more spiritual way. Both versions are shown below.

This version was said to be found posted on the wall in 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.


The Original 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.

© 1968, 2001 Kent M. Keith

I think if I and others could better LIVE these words, not only my world, but also the world of others would be so much more delightful.


  1. Hi Debbie,

    Love this post and the wise counsel that you share. How often I find that the Lord would have me be restrained and seek His counsel from the Word before I respond.

    Blessings in Christ...Susan

  2. Love your transparency Debbie, but not surprised by it. You are always "real" and I love that about you! No wonder being a Christian is called "a narrow way"---it isn't easy to make Christlike choices. I needed this reminder, and to learn from your experience. A big hug to you!

  3. Patty, what a nice thing for you to say. We are all in this together and can really learn from each other. In fact, I count on it. Love you!

  4. It is amazing how much the Lord will use those difficult situations to do the most work on us if we are willing. I love your moldable heart! Thank you for this post and for the "Do it anyway" encouragements. I have pinned them on my workplace bulletin board.

  5. Janice, love your heart and your encouragement and sooooooo many other things about you!