Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Origin of The Paradoxical Commandments

The previous blog “the significance of a Small Deed” reminded me of a lecture I heard a while back by the mayor of Lancaster during a club leadership conference. The mayor talk about a book called The Origin of The Paradoxical Commandments which was written my Kent Keith in 1968 when he was 19, a sophomore at Harvard. Kent writes the book to help student understand the world a little better and to encourage them to do good things. He states "I saw a lot of idealistic young people go out into the world to do what they thought was right, and good, and true, only to come back a short time later, discouraged, or embittered, because they got negative feedback, or nobody appreciated them, or they failed to get the results they had hoped for.”

Kent encourages that students work and help other not for the fame, glory, or honor that would more or less come from noble acts of kindness but rather act because you truly care and deep down in your soul you know it’s the right thing

In his book he states the 10 paradoxical commandments

1) People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered. 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 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 with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men 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 do help them. Help people anyway.
10) Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you have anyway.
I encourage all you, my classmates, to read these words of wisdom a few time before making a true judgment. These commandments can not be preached nor can they be taughted. They can only be seen through action and once that is understood purely good intentions will become automatic and seen and realized by the rest of the world.


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