Sunday, September 2, 2007

Give the World the Best You Have

I came across these proverbs in the internet a few years ago when I was still in the Department of Agrarian Reform assigned in Camarines Sur. They were attributed to Mother Theresa. I had this printed and a copy posted in our Bulletin Board.

Yesterday, when I read Ed de la Torre’s blog, I found out that they were not actually written by Mother Theresa but by Kent K. Keith, a college student leader in the USA in 1968. They were called the Paradoxical Commandments. The reason why others thought they were the original thoughts of Mother Theresa was because when she died, these commandments, minus one, were found written on the wall of her room.

Ed wrote that the commandments reflect the idealistic spirit of the late 60s. They are a guide to an “inner-driven” life that does not depend on other people’s reaction or even world approval.

I have difficulty practising several of these commandments. I hope I'll have the determination to continue trying. How about you?

Here are 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 will 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.

Ed made a contemporary translation in Filipino, which captures both the original youthful spirit and its affirmation 40 years later. I love his translation. Here it is.

Sige pa rin.Kahit mahirap ispelingin

Karamihang tao ay mahirap ispelingin at sarili lang ang pansin
Sige, mahalin mo pa rin.

Kung may mabuti kang magawa, pupupugin ka ng intriga
Sige, gawin mo pa rin.

Kasunod ng tagumpay ay mga plastik na kaibigan at seryosong kaaway
Sige, magtagumpay ka pa rin

Anumang gawin mo ngayong kabutihan, bukas ay malilimutan
Sige, gawin mo pa rin.

Ang taong totoo at tapat, ay malimit mapahamak
Sige, magpakatotoo ka pa rin.

Ang malawak at malalim mag-isip at mangarap ay kayang bakbakin ng mga makitid at mababaw
Sige, largahan mo pa rin.

Panig ang marami sa maliliit at dehado, pero ang susundan nila ay ang malaki at llamado
Sige, laban pa rin.

Ang pinaghirapang itayo nang matagal ay pwedeng ibagsak nang biglaan
Sige, itayo mo pa rin.

Ang kailangan ng tulong, naiilang sa handang tumulong
Sige, tumulong ka pa rin.

Ibuhos mo sa mundo ang kaya mong lubos at ang matatanggap mo ay maraming hambalos
Sige, lubusin mo pa rin.


Dan dela Fuente said...

Hi Toti,
These words of wisdom are all true and correct. Your friend in Orlando is one who, in his own small ways, have practiced these commandments, and the ending results just like what is written, had never been different. Ending results will sometimes leave "bad taste in your mouth", you might say - enough is enough, don't do good things anymore, or surrender and say "to hell with all of them" but in the end as your nature will dictate, you will find yourself practicing these commandments again and again - could be in a different place with different group of people - and end result - still the same. During our mini reunion in LA, I was telling Marybeth, Joe, Men and Allan about my experiences as I put into practice these words of wisdoms written by what his name?, and one result that happened to me in
Orlando, proved to be very very expensive. But just like another word of wisdom - a good man is hard to put down, so just keep on doing good things.

Daet Parochial School Class 67 said...

A very inspiring message! For me, it means that we must always be on the positive side of whatever we are doing or are planning to do.

As an auditor, the client’s negative reaction shouldn’t bother me as long as the audit is based on the GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) and PAS (Philippine Accounting Standards).

As an individual, I have difficulty being positive always but I am trying my best to be one. Anyway there is no harm in trying. . . . . . .

Regards to everyone!


Sor Victorina de la Providencia, Mother Superior of Daet Parochial School

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