The Paradoxical Commandments was an inspiring poem written by Dr. Kent M. Keith back in 1968 when he was still an undergraduate. Interestingly, a similar poem was found hanging on the wall of Mother Teresa‘s children’s home in Calcutta, India. Dr. Kent had brilliantly brought a reality in the real world that we live in and challenge us to still choose to love, to do good, to succeed, to be honest and frank, to help and to give the world the best anyway.
As the saying goes, “Do unto others what we want others to do unto us.” I am a strong believer in the simple words of Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the change that you want to see in the world.” The change in the world must come first through the change in ourselves but it will go on to inspire people around us to change too.
Some may remark that we would be taken advantage of by people when we are kind to them, which I totally agree. What I can say is we cannot always control how others will treat us, yet we have control in how we choose to treat others and that is all that matter, isn’t it? Self mastery is a bigger challenge in most people and if we can master ourselves, we can be of better service to others and to the world. I hope that you will be inspired by the poem and would join me in this challenge to “live the Paradoxical Life and face the worst in the world with the best in yourself“, quoting the words from The Commandments Website.
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.
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.
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.
Photo by nejron