give your bestSome days just jam together with problems. The car won’t start. Your boss is an extra grouch. The kids are whiny. Your spouse is still unsettled about your recent disagreement. These are the days we need a reminder from someone like Mother Teresa.

In 2018, I posted a blog about my interview with Thomas Blackshear, a celebrated artist, painter, and sculptor. The U.S. Postal Service commissioned Thomas to paint an image of Mother Teresa for a postage stamp in honor of her 100th birthday. I just love how Thomas captured this lighthearted look of Mother Teresa.

Learning to Give Your Best

It doesn’t matter if I never knew Mother Teresa personally or if I didn’t follow her specific expression of faith. Her words and actions still resonate profoundly with me. A humble servant who sacrificed much to aid India’s poorest of the poor, Mother Teresa modeled how to give your best . . . through anything.

I’ve always admired this poem adapted by Mother Teresa and inscribed on the wall of her children’s home in Calcutta. Her words remind us all to choose better responses when we feel misunderstood and worn down. Mother Teresa truly lived out how to bend when life dares us to break.

Forgive, Be Kind, Succeed Anyway

Considered one of the 20th Century’s most outstanding humanitarians and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, the venerable nun and missionary knocked it out of the park with this prose, “Do It Anyway.”  

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 never be enough;
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.

Your day or your week feeling jammed together with problems? Are other’s opinions dragging you down? I can relate. Let’s invite Mother Teresa’s advice to soak in a bit. Build anyway. Be happy anyway. Do good anyway. The world deserves the best you have to offer. And it’s okay if it may never be enough. It’s between God and you anyway.