The Paradoxical Commandments – be inspired by the words from Mother Theresa’s wall

A dear friend sent me this. Even though it was written in 1968, I hadn’t seen it before. It’s the kind of wisdom that demands to be

Kent Keith: A he was when he wrote his famous Paradoxical Commandments as a Harvard undergraduate in 1968
Kent Keith: As he was when he wrote his famous Paradoxical Commandments as a Harvard undergraduate in 1968

shared. Absorbed. And reflected upon. Perfect for a weekend. The Commandments were written by Kent M Keith when he was a 19 year old undergraduate at Harvard University. He wrote them for high school student leaders in his native Hawaii. They’ve made their way around the world and, famously, Mother Theresa put them on the wall of her children’s home is Kolkata. Dr Keith said: “I laid down the Paradoxical Commandments as a challenge….to always do what is right and good and true, even if others don’t appreciate it. You have to keep striving, no matter what, because if you don’t, many of the things that need to be done in our world will never get done.”

The Paradoxical Commandments by Dr Kent M Keith

  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 and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds. Think
    Dr Keith....as he is today - still "trying to help people find meaning in a crazy world."
    Dr Keith….as he is today – still “trying to help people find meaning in a crazy world.”

    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.
(Visited 575 times, 7 visits today)