This was written on the wall in Mother Teresa‘s home for children in Calcutta and is widely attributed to her. It is often given the title “Do it anyway“:
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.
The words seem to be based on a poem by Kent Keith, but much of the second half has been re-written in a more spiritual way by Mother Teresa.
Mother Teresa, Agnesë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu (Gonxhe meaning “rosebud” in Albanian) was born 1910, in Üsküb, Ottoman Empire (now Skopje, capital of the Republic of Macedonia). Her father, who was involved in Albanian politics, died in 1919 when she was eight years old. She left home at age 18 to join the Sisters of Loreto as a missionary. She never again saw her mother or sister. Agnes initially went to the Loreto Abbey in Rathfarnham, Ireland to learn English, the language the Sisters of Loreto used to teach school children in India. She arrived in India in 1929, and began her novitiate in Darjeeling, near the Himalayan mountains. She chose the name Teresa after Thérèse de Lisieux, the patron saint of missionaries.