“The Paradoxical Commandments”
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 may 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.”
― Kent M. Keith, The Silent Revolution: Dynamic Leadership in the Student Council
I really had to stop myself from changing how these commandments were written because I do not believe that everyone acts like this. I believe there are still many people in this world that are trustworthy and loving, and will not treat you poorly. I also believe that you can accomplish great things and leave your mark in a positive way, no matter who you are on this earth. This is the true optimist inside of me talking. The reason I like this list is because this world can eat us alive if we let it. I also feel it suits the current tone of events in our country with humans killing other humans because of their occupation, position, race, sex etc. It is sad to see the amount of judging and generalizing many people are participating in these days. I feel like the culprit here can not all be ignorance. I think it has more to do with the above paradox, “helping people who may attack you anyways.” I happen to do this on a daily basis when people are hospitalized for mental illness and can become extremely violent. That is a calculated risk I take every day I work, but I feel it is a risk I am willing to take to help those people who need help. Unfortunately as humans we do not always recognize when we need to ask for help and asking for help can make people feel vulnerable and helpless. I believe, in big part due to our culture, we have ego’s of epic proportions. When that is the reality on such a large scale people can become unwilling to see anything other than what they want to. We essentially blindfold ourselves. It may even be comparible to a child refusing to hear what a parent is asking them to do. I HOPE that in the future people can begin to open themselves up to peace and forgiveness.
The way to peace means turning the other cheek and accepting that the negative actions of one do not determine the actions of all.
Love and forgive people anyway.
There is never a winning side to violence.