Once when I was a teenager, I learned a concept that stood out to me. I brought it home to my family, and we realized how much a part of our life the concept is. We always called it the Anyway Principle.
If you’re going to make dinner anyway, why not make extra and give it to the family of a sick mother?
If you’re going to go to an activity anyway, why not fill the empty seats in the car with someone who needs a ride?
If you’re at your desk anyway, why not write a “just thinking of you” note to someone on your mind?
When I googled the Anyway principle, it came to my attention that there is more than one “Anyway Principle,” and that my version is all but obsolete. The other principle, which is more of an “Anyway Challenge,” discusses a few paradoxical commandments, written by Kent M. Keith.
Although at first the principles seemed so different to me, I thought about it, did some research, and studied a bit of the grammar that I love. Whether something is negative or not, like in the paradoxical commandments, it doesn’t change the word (from what I can tell, the direction you’re looking – positive or negative – is the only difference between the paradoxical commandments and the anyway principle I knew: one states the opposition to the plan, while the other focuses on the proactive side of the plan. It doesn’t change the use of the word. Both mean “regardless,” “in any case,” or “nevertheless”). If you are going to do something anyway, do it. Don’t let something stand in your way. Do something good no matter what opposition you face. If you’re going to reach out, who cares who tries to stop you! Especially if the person trying to stop you is yourself. Do it anyway.
But to me, grammar aside, there is still a difference I can’t ignore. One is active, the other is proactive. One is looking back and saying “I will move forward, anyway.” The other says, “I will move forward anyway, so what’s one more step.” One looks back and sees all the reasons not to do something. The other ignores all the reasons not to, and just looks at what they can do, and how much further they can go. If you are doing something anyway, is there someone you can bring along with you or something you can do while you’re out? If you’re cooking dinner anyway, can you make extra?
I guess it’s the anyway principle inside of the anyway principle. You can choose to follow Kent M. Keith’s anyway principle (it’s still forward movement, so it counts. And some days, that might be all you can handle. Smile anyway…), but if you’re going to do it anyway…