The following is a KSCO commentary. Here is Kay Zwerling:
This bewilders me that I have lived so long, but never heard of the Paradoxical Commandments until recently when my friend Marcia told me about them.
Here’s the story – evidently the Paradoxical Commandments were written by an 18-year-old named Kent Keith, a freshman at Harvard in 1968. He is probably 60 years old now. The Commandments were later found posted on Mother Teresa’s wall in India.
One wonders how an 18-year-old could have the wisdom and depth of understanding of human nature to be so right-on and so humanly generous as Kent Keith was to come up with those mature thoughts. It is like finding meaning in a crazy world, and how many of us humans achieve such wisdom? I wonder, also, how can an 18-year-old have become so disenchanted so early in his life? That is a paradox, too. And, maybe there was a little bit of paranoia in him, also. Here are 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 – Succeed anyway.
The good you do today will 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 – Build anyway.
People really need help, but may attack you if you do help them – Help people anyway.
And finally –
Give the world the best you have and you will get kicked in the teeth – Give the world the best you have anyway.
So much for the Paradoxical Commandments.
And now it is chuckle time –
A Rabbi & a Priest in the same town were friends. They met once a week to go bicycling together. One day while the Priest was waiting in the usual place, the Rabbi came but without his bicycle. He told his friend the Priest that it was not where he usually put it so it was probably stolen.
The Priest paused a moment & then said to the Rabbi “I have an idea. This coming Friday night when you deliver your sermon, why don’t you make your subject the Ten Commandments, and when you get to the part where it says ‘Thou shalt not steal’, perhaps the thief will be listening and be remorseful and return your bike.” So the following week when it was time for the buddies to meet, the Rabbi arrived with his bike. Elated, the Priest said “See, I told you that when you would read the Ten Commandments that say ‘Thou shalt not steal’ it would work and you would get your bicycle back, and you did.” The Rabbi replied “Well, it was not exactly that way. I did give my sermon, but when I came to the part that says ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery’, I remembered where I left my bike.”
For KSCO, this is Kay Zwerling.
© copyright 2012