Leadership, Motivation, Personal Development, Personal meaning

Living a meaningful, paradoxical life

In one of my earlier blog posts I wrote about, “Doing the simple thing.” ( https://edbrownweb.wordpress.com/2016/05/17/do-the-simple-thing/ ) Today’s post is about “Doing the right thing.”

A few years ago, in a used book store, I stumbled across a small book entitled, Anyway: The Paradoxical Commandments, by Dr Kent M. Keith. The book ended up on the shelf in my bathroom (yes, I have a shelf for books in my bathroom; especially for books that have chapters that can be read in a single sitting 🙂 ). It was not until sometime later that I began to peruse this fantastic and deep book. It might be a cliché, but the lessons from this book have the potential to be life-changing. The book consists of a preface, a short introduction followed by 10 paradoxical commandments with accompanying short narratives. Mother Teresa, the Catholic saint, kept a copy of these commandments hanging on the wall of the children’s home she served in, in Calcutta.

So, here they are. I encourage you to read each one and then take time to reflect on it before moving on to the next one. Let each “commandment” roll around in your brain, wander through your soul or inhabit your mind for a while.

The Paradoxical Commandments
by Dr. Kent M. Keith

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.

© Copyright Kent M. Keith 1968, renewed 2001



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