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People Are Often Unreasonable

This is a poem that I have had taped to my bathroom mirror for at least 20 years.  I read a poem every morning and after my exercises. I read all the little poems, quips and saying that I have taped all over my house.  When I get stuck on a meditation conjured idea that is not helpful, I pull out one of my poetry books and read.  Poetry seems like higher evolved thinking to me and always opens the door/window for new ideas.  Thus I share one with you which seems very pertinent these days.

People are often unreasonable, illogical, 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 false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may just never be enough;
Give the world the best you have anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it’s all between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.

~ From Do It Anyway: Finding Personal Meaning and Deep Happiness by Living the Paradoxical Commandments by Kent Keith.

According to the author, Mother Teresa was so moved by these commandments that she hung them on a wall in her orphanage in Calcutta.

What inspires new thinking and ideas for you? Opens the window of your mind?
Do you have a way to inspire yourself?  I have been finding lovely things on Stumble Upon this Season.

28 Responses to “People Are Often Unreasonable”

  1. Cath Lawson Says:

    Hi Patricia – What a wonderful poem. I think I need to stick this on my wall and remember it. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Betsy Wuebker Says:

    Hi Patricia – This is so lovely. I don’t think we have to look very far for inspiration. When we put out a silent call, it often comes to us in different guises. Thanks for this!

    Betsy Wuebkers last blog post..SUMMONING SANTAS

  3. Joy Says:

    People should be kind to one another. It costs nothing and makes life more pleasant.

    Joys last blog post..15 Minutes of Fame

  4. Avani-Mehta Says:

    This is a beautiful poem. Thank you for sharing. Sharing it on stumble. Hope more people get to read this lovely poem :)

    Avani-Mehtas last blog post..Top 8 Life Hacks – #6

  5. Jeanne Says:


    Wow!! GREAT poem!!

    In today’s society, kindness isn’t practiced like it should be!

    I get really inspired by music! It can lift my mood, get me thinking, and make me feel more creative. I just LOVE music!


    Jeannes last blog post..Multiple Chemical Sensitivity: How You Can Help Patients With This Often Debilitating Condition!! (UPDATED With USA Today article)!

  6. Jeanne Says:


    I really like your blog. I just added you to my blogroll. Your positive energy will be a big plus for my chronically ill readers.


    Jeannes last blog post..Multiple Chemical Sensitivity: How You Can Help Patients With This Often Debilitating Condition!! (UPDATED With USA Today article)!

  7. Patricia Says:

    Cath, Betsy, and Avani Mehta,
    I think maybe this poem is about you and all the good sharing you do everyday. Thank you for your comments and I am celebrating kindness with you today and everyday.

    Welcome, welcome and you are so right on – kindness costs nothing and brings so much de-light to each one. Thank you for sharing your words with me.

  8. Vered - MomGrind Says:

    What a wonderful poem.

    I agree: Stumbleupon can be a great resource.

    I am also often inspired when I look at my kids.

  9. Patricia Says:

    I have just finished reading 3 kids final papers for school and editing them and although they seem to be on a late night schedule for needing editing – I am inspired by their knowledge, skills, and perseverance. I have no idea what my oldest is saying, but I seem to be able to fix the spelling and add commas! I remember each of them learning a task when small – tie shoes or ride a bike and I just thought these children are such an inspiration – Vered you are on to something here –
    Glad you liked the poem…it is a good one. Another good something from England besides Cath Lawson and Company!

  10. Aashish Says:

    A poem which will inspire you to do good, even if you face obstacles on the way. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful poem and thanks to Avani Mehta for putting it on stumble.

  11. meggin Says:

    So fabulous a poem. I want to share it with everyone!
    It may help make the world a beautiful place.
    Thanks so much, Patricia!

  12. Davina Says:

    Hi Patricia. A comforting poem isn’t it? Thanks for sharing. Quotes give me a lot of inspiration. I bought a 2009 calendar just because of the quotes in it… and the artwork too. I already had a 2009 calendar, but I couldn’t pass this one up.

    Davinas last blog post..Future Self Meditation Invites Guidance

  13. Tess Marshall The Bold Life Says:

    I love this blog and how you got started! I love the poem and as a professional speaker have used it in many of my programs. Isn’t that the truth!
    Can you post a picture of your bathroom wall?

    Tess Marshall The Bold Lifes last blog post..How To Survive The Blogosphere

  14. Tammy Warren/Cricket Says:

    I have a little old box of quotes that I put together after the death of my grandmother. I am always pulling quotes from this box to read. It seems like it is the never-ending box. On some days I might read the same quote but it means something totally different.

    This was a great poem to share. Poetry does inspire!

    Tammy Warren/Crickets last blog post..I like…

  15. Patricia Says:

    Aashish – welcome! and yes I am very glad Avani-Metha stumbled it
    because it wants for a big audience – it is so concise and inspiring.

    Davina – congratulations on finding you 2009 calendar of good quotes – I have not found one I like yet for this year ahead – poetry and quotes are such gems in my life.

    Tammy – the never-ending box is such a great idea and connection. We have a gentleman here in town who put a poem to music 5 days a week and sends it to my email…the photographs are lovely too and he features local poets…Have you discovered the poetry of Mary Oliver – just takes your breath away? Thank you for your comments.

  16. Patricia Says:

    meggin- you are absolutely right the world would be a better place
    I think we should put this poem on facebook too?

  17. Patricia Says:

    Thank you for sharing your musical inspirations and for subscribing to my blog.

    Kindness is such a wonderful part of life and it has been missing in the top ten lately….I too thought this was a lovely place to share this poem.

    Thank you for your good comments and words.

  18. Jannie Says:

    I wonder if thi spoem was the inspiration for that song Martina McBride Sings “Anyway.” Do you know that song? I LOVE IT!

    Just wonderful thoughts, Particia. Thank you.

    Jannies last blog post..A Biggie

  19. Robin Says:

    Hi there Patricia – that’s what it’s all about isn’t it – doing what we know inside we must do! “It was never between you and them anyway” – great!

    Robins last blog post..What If? The Movie

  20. Patricia Says:

    Jannie – I just bet it could be an inspirations for any song…but I will make a point of listening to this one and see what I think too – that would be neat and get the words out farther

    Robin –
    It is such a great poem and history…lasting the test of time for inspiration…Thanks for commenting today..

  21. Liara Covert Says:

    Another view is that no human being is ever unreasonable. The truth is that only the self can be unreasonable when it does not choose to acknowledge the ego source fo its own discomfort.

    Liara Coverts last blog post..What brings you back?

  22. patricia Says:

    So true, so very true….good way to look at it

  23. Liara Covert Says:

    You and other readers here may appreciate a book entitled, The Age of Unreason by Charles Handy.

    Liara Coverts last blog post..8 Ways to reframe everything

  24. Patricia Says:

    I will add that to my list – hope others will also

    Patricias last blog post..A Modern Fairy Tale

  25. Jared | SpiritualZen.net Says:

    Great poem.

    In response to your questions: “What inspires new thinking and ideas for you? Opens the window of your mind?
    Do you have a way to inspire yourself?”

    I read the St. Francis Prayer often. It gives me something to strive for each and every day. I carry it around in my pocket.

    Prayer of St. Francis:
    “Lord, make me a channel of thy peace –
    that where there is hatred, I may bring love –
    that where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness –
    that where there is discord, I may bring harmony –
    that where there is error, I may bring truth –
    that where there is doubt, I may bring faith –
    that where there is despair, I may bring hope –
    that where there are shadows, I may bring light –
    that where there is sadness, I may bring joy.
    Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted –
    to understand, than to be understood –
    to love, than to be loved. For it is by self-forgetting that one finds.
    It is by forgiving that one is forgiven. It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life. Amen.”

    “to understand, than to be understood” – this has been the most powerful part of the prayer to put into action for me. This one alone can really change your life.

    Jared | SpiritualZen.nets last blog post..The Secret About: Change

  26. patricia Says:

    My father in law carried the ST. Francis Prayer in his pocket and had it framed in his office. It is certainly a life changer. Thank you for coming on by and making a comment.

  27. JD Sullivan Says:

    Again, what a wonderful piece you have shared for us, thanks.

    Some people I know aren’t as good with words as others so something that inspires me is their actions. Actions too, depending on which ones don’t cost a thing, but can brighten people’s worst days. A hug, a handshake, a smile, and most importantly an ear to listen. These four things bring happiness to those who need it. Just being there for a friend and giving them these traits will make them feel rejoiced and new. I’m sure everyone knows about these pieces of knowledge, but it doesn’t hurt to be reminded of them. :)

  28. patricia Says:

    JD Sullivan,
    Thank you for coming by and looking at my blog. It was so very nice to see you this weekend for all the celebrations. You have so many supportive actions towards others and are one of the best huggers I have ever met – you inspire me and what a listener – and texter – getting all the dialogue to my daughter during graduation! Awesome, just Awesome you are JD.
    Thank you for being you.