Where There’s a Will, There’s an Anyway

January 02, 2013
  • Bob Chapman
  • Bob Chapman
    CEO & Chairman of Barry-Wehmiller
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In celebration of the promise and hope that a new year holds, I share this quote inspiring me to focus on the goodness in the world.

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.


These powerful words were written on the wall of Mother Teresa’s home for children in Calcutta, India. Some sources say that they were also written on the wall of her own room. My guess is that she found them particularly inspirational as they express the way in which she and the Missionaries of Charity lived their lives.

Many people mistakenly think these sentiments were the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize Winner’s own, but they are actually based upon an original composition called The Paradoxical Commandments written by Kent Keith, PhD in 1968 while a student at Harvard.

Keith wrote the Commandments as a challenge to student leaders to “always do what is right and good and true, even if others don’t appreciate it. You have to keep striving, no matter what, because if you don’t, many of the things that need to be done in our world will never get done.”

Whether used by a missionary nun to motivate her and her fellow sisters working among the poorest of poor in India, or leaders inside our schools and classrooms, or business owners like myself, these simple ideas have meaning and relevance: each day presents an opportunity to do what is right and good.

With that as your purpose, you will make a positive difference in the lives of others. Chances are, you will also find meaning and satisfaction.

Make this your New Year’s resolution.

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