Kent M. Keith
are illogical, unreasonable,
Love them anyway.
you do good, people will accuse you
of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
you are successful, you will win false friends and
good you do today
will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
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.
but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
you spend years building
may be destroyed overnight.
really need help but may attack you if you do help
Help people anyway.
the world the best you have
and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.
Keith in 1969, and in 2009
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© Copyright Kent M. Keith 1968,
Paradoxical Commandments were written by Kent
M. Keith when he was 19, a sophomore at Harvard College.
He wrote them as part of a book for student leaders
entitled The Silent Revolution: Dynamic Leadership
in the Student Council, published by Harvard Student
Agencies in 1968. The Paradoxical Commandments
subsequently spread all over the world, and have been
used by millions of people.
Teresa hung a copy of the Paradoxical Commandments
on the wall of her children's home
in Calcutta. The fact that the commandments were on
her wall was reported in a book compiled by Lucinda
Vardey, Mother Teresa: A Simple Path, which
was published in 1995. As a result, some people have
mistakenly attributed the Paradoxical Commandments
to Mother Teresa.