The words sounded strangely familiar to me. I used to own a book about the life of Mother Teresa, yet I don't ever remember seeing these words attributed to her.
So I did a little research (yes, that's me -- forever a Nancy Drew wannabe) and learned that these words were found written on a wall of Mother Teresa's home for children in Calcutta, while others claim it was found written on the wall of her own room in that home.
Other information states that this was based on something called 'The Paradoxical Commandments,' which I've also read, by Dr. Kent Keith, but it seems as if the second part of this composition was re-written with more of a spiritual mindset.
I can't say for sure where and from whom this originated. No matter -- the fact remains that this is a beautiful poetic masterpiece (to me, anyway). Inspiring, encouraging, filled with truth.
If you are seeking to follow in the footsteps of Jesus -- serving as He served, living as He lived, loving as He loved -- but it just seems much too hard: Do it anyway.
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.
Oh, and I finally did recall just where I heard the words before: