The Paradoxical Commandments

The Paradoxical Commandments

By 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



One of the interesting, ironic aspects of these modern ten commandments, is the story of their authorship.  Most people these days come across these on the internet.  And a good deal of the time they are attributed to Mother Theresa.  Sometimes Robert Schuller.  A copy of these commandments were found on the wall in the Children’s home in Calcutta when Mother Theresa died.  Schuller used them in some sermons and writings.  But they actually come from a Harvard sophomore back in 1968.  His comments were given in the midst of an upswing of the countercultural revolution.   His ideas are both important to the ‘orthodox’ and ‘establishment.’  But equally valuable to the revolutionary disestablishment.


In the era of disillusionment that we experience today, I regard the ideas here as gospel.




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