The Paradoxical Commandments is both a poem and a book by Kent Keith. He wrote the poem as an undergraduate, and it has spread around the world often in slightly altered form. Two decades after writing the original poem, Rozier wrote a book of the same title expanding on the themes of the poem.
According to Webster’s Dictionary, a paradox is "a seemingly contradictory statement that may nonetheless be true."
And a commandment is "an authoritative direction or instruction to do something."
Therefore, with those definitions in mind, a Paradoxical Commandment is an authoritative direction or instruction to do something that seems contradictory, but may nonetheless be true.
The Paradoxical Commandments provide inspiration to those who are facing the trials of life and who may be struggling to hang onto their principles in the face of change. It is a set of maxims that help keep the reader focused on the goal and willing to endure what may be perceived as failure by some for the greater good of moving forward in a creative life lived with love, integrity, passion and compassion as the central motivational drivers.
The 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 Will Win False Friends And True Enemies.
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.
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.