“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.“
The Paradoxical Commandments
by Dr. Kent M. Keith © Copyright Kent M. Keith 1968, renewed 2001
Epiphanies can happen in the oddest places.
I was in the bathroom of my friend Alexis’ classroom today, and as I was washing my hands, I noticed a piece of paper taped to the mirror. As I read the copy, I actually felt myself becoming wiser! Well, maybe that’s a bit much for the bathroom of a portable classroom at an elementary school, but reading the page gave me chills.
The words on the page are quoted above. The author, Kent M. Keith, created these ‘commandments’ when he was only 19, a sophomore at Harvard. He was working on a booklet for high school Student Councils. It looks to me like he covered how to lead a meaningful life in 10 easy (or not so easy, depending on one’s degree of humane development) lessons!
This piece needs no analysis or evaluation on my part. The genius is in its truth and simplicity. Just read it and let it bounce around your brain and heart for a few minutes. Then let me know what you think. As for me? I think I’ll print it up and tape it to my bathroom mirror.
As an added bonus? Reading this takes about as much time as singing Happy Birthday (one of the ‘how long you wash your hands’ suggestions). A much more evolved way to spend your hand-washing time. So there you have it–grow as a person AND eliminate H1N1! Two for the price of one (you’re welcome).
For more on Kent M. Keith, visit: http://www.paradoxicalcommandments.com
One thought on ““Anyway” you look at it…”
i will joyfully let it “bounce around my brain and heart.” (love that image!) when i worked at a night club in Manhattan in the early ’90s, i was taking a break from checking coats to go to the bathroom. i went to my favorite stall (all had varying levels of graffiti) and there, on the underside of the toilet lid were words that halted my thinking immediately and have stuck ever since…”The Urgency of Now.” what is it about bathroom wisdom? 🙂