In my e-mail box this morning, I found a reply from Mr. Kent M. Keith. I had written to him several Sundays ago after hearing his Paradoxical Commandments read at my UU church. Perhaps I have been living under a rock somewhere, because I had never heard of the Paradoxical Commandments before. Kent Keith wrote these in 1968 as part of his book, The Silent Revolution: Dynamic Leadership in Student Council, published by Harvard Student Agencies, Cambridge, Massachusetts. I enjoyed hearing them read so much, that when I returned home, I immediately Googled Mr. Keith and asked permission to write them here. He graciously allowed me to do so. He also mentioned that his ancestors (British) landed here in Nova Scotia after fighting in the American Revolutionary War. He has attended a conference here, and “thought the whole region was beautiful!” So here are Kent M. Keith’s Paradoxical Commandments (copyright 1968, renewed 2001). To learn the interesting story of how the PC’s came about, travelled around the globe, and for more interesting reading from Mr. Keith, go to his web site, http://www.paradoxicalcommandments.com (link direct from blogroll).
THE PARADOXICAL COMMANDMENTS BY KENT M. KEITHS
1. People are illogical. Love them anyway.
2. If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Do good anyway.
3. If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.
4. The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
5. Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway.
6. 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.
7. People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs. Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
8. What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway.
9. People really need help but may attack you if you help them. Help people anyway.
10. Give the world the best you can and you’ll get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you can anyway.