Anyway: The Paradoxical Commandments is a delightfully simple little book about ‘finding personal meaning in a crazy world’. In the 1960s, Kent Keith, while a student at Harvard, first articulated the ten principles found in this book. Without him knowing, these ten principles spread around the world. Afer many years, Keith was visiting Mother Teresa’s childrens’ home in Calcutta where he saw them on the walls there. He was astounded that something he had written years before had had so much impact on so many people. As a result, he was moved to put his paradoxical commandments and their underlying philosophy into this book. There are heartwarming stories that add life to the principles. Here are the paradoxical commandments you will read about in this book:
The Paradoxical Commandments
1 People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centred. 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. 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 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.
Some people don’t like reading short, inspirational books with a deep message. Read it anyway!
(Thanks to Steve Parker for this little gem)
Around the Traps
Recently I was walking back from Physical Sciences and I overtook a fellow who was limping badly and making slow work of it. I struck up a conversation. He had been in a car accident and out of action for 6 weeks. I asked if this had affected his studies. Not really, he said. His lecturers had taken his misfortune into account and extended the deadlines of his assignments. “All of my lecturers have been really good about it.”
Later I shot off an email of appreciation to the Maths School. Nice work!