I have difficulty with some of these. What about you?
1. Speak as little as possible about yourself.
2. Keep busy with your own affairs and not those of others.
3. Avoid curiosity.
4. Do not interfere in the affairs of others.
5. Accept small irritations with good humor.
6. Do not dwell on the faults of others.
7. Accept censures even if unmerited.
8. Give in to the will of others.
9. Accept insults and injuries.
10. Accept contempt, being forgotten and disregarded.
11. Be courteous and delicate even when provoked by someone.
12. Do not seek to be admired and loved.
13. Do not protect yourself behind your own dignity.
14. Give in, in discussions, even when you are right.*
15. Choose always the more difficult task.
* I have difficulty especially with number 14. However, I wouldn’t take it too seriously, for the reason that also Mother Teresa knew she had to stick to her guns when she knew she was right on behalf of others who were suffering. Behold, the most outrageously cool moment in the life of Mother Teresa. This always makes me laugh out loud. Totally cool! NEVER back down when you are right especially when other people are suffering.
I remember showing this clip to my mom way back in I think 1991. She didn’t know much about Mother Teresa, but knew I had been to Calcutta and the Byculla district of Mumbai at Ashadaan. She was very much impressed with the scene of the little kid in the crib being calmed down by the sister.
Update: Number 14 applies to the Living Truth such as Jesus in front of Pontius Pilate, that is, when someone is being deadly belligerent. Pilate asked “what?” not “Who?” is Truth. If you need to teach those who are being difficult, as Jesus did with parables, do it. But if it’s just about what kind of wall-paper goes up in the TB ward, well, who cares. Let the other person win. For the rest, remember Saint Augustine’s statement: