The Paradoxical Commandments

Author: Anne Stirling

In 1968, Kent Keith wrote “The Paradoxical Commandments.” I want to discuss it today because it is important to remember that no amount of hard work, kind words, or good deeds is ever wasted and will always lead you to something wonderful.

The Paradoxical Commandments:

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

-Kent Keith

We often lack inspiration and want to give up because we don’t see the point in continuing to do something, especially if we can’t see the immediate reward. What we forget is that good things take time and we need to be patient, whether it is for our work, relationships, and even self-growth. Through time, continuous dedication, and passion, you can and will be able to achieve anything.

We need to be good to others because we forget that they too are going through their own struggles, similarly to us. We all struggle differently. However, if we’re good to others, we just took one step to making the world a better place… and it doesn’t take much effort. It can be as simple as smiling to a stranger on the bus, or telling a peer that their class presentation was awesome. What goes around, comes around- you’ll find kindness from others returning back into your life too. Moreover, we have the ability to foster a positive environment in this world and have the ability to ruin it too. The only difference between the two is having the courage to take an extra step to do good and make this world a better place than we found it.

Do not give up and do the best you can possibly do in everything and to everyone.

Some interesting reads for this month: