I've referred to this and posted it here on Mr. SponsorPants several times over the years -- it has become a personal touchstone for me. In fact now I read it every day as part of my regular 11th Step practice.
In the spirit of the Season I offer it again, on Christmas Eve Day, as a gift to anyone who might find it as powerful and helpful and hopeful as I have.
Mother Teresa: "Do It Anyway"
Mother Teresa is widely credited as the author of the prayer below, and it is written on the wall of her Home for children in Calcutta, India. Some sources claim these words were also written on the wall in Mother Teresa's own room. It seems to be based on a work called "The Paradoxical Commandments" by Kent M. Keith, though this version is more spiritually inclined, and has gained world-wide popularity due to its association with both Mother Teresa herself and the Missionaries of Charity, expressing as it does a philosophy very close to the spirit in which Mother Teresa and the Order, live(d) their lives. In general the prayer is referred to as "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.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.
Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.
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.