Monday, July 20, 2009

Paradoxical in Paradisical

"People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered. Love them anyway. If you do good, people may accuse you of selfish motives. Do good anyway. If you are successful, you may win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway. What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway. People who really want help may attack you if you help them. Help them anyway. Give the world the best you have and you may get hurt. Give the world your best anyway."

These 'Paradoxical Commandments' are highly quoted pieces of inspirational writing. If you google it - the author who gets credited for it is Mother Teresa. Thousands of times! She didn't write it, but it must have meant something to her as she had it hanging on the wall. A guy named Kent Keith wrote it and published it the first time, years ago, I think it was 1968 or so.

I love the quote and just recently perused both his new little books about "Anyways". These words can instantly bolster and support my sagging thinking. Even though I'm not in a despondent state right at the moment, there have been many times when I was in such a funk. I read these words for the first time over 20 years ago! Like some C.S Lewis quotes and the 'red' words spoken by Jesus in scripture - they are words that slap you up side the head with gumption and being on purpose again. Bounce back words. Scrape your knees and get up again words. Try again words.

It is so refreshing reading about Kent Keith and his philosophy about not being recognized as the author most of the time when it is quoted; he knows he wrote it and published it, when, where and how. Instead of worrying about who gets or takes credit as it has grown out of obscurity over the last 20 or 30 years, he is just plain thrilled that it has had an impact on so many thousands of people. Amazed in fact!

I hope he truly is blessed. A guy who really doesn't have to have the applause and recognition to enjoy the intrinsic reward of writing something meaningful, that's the kind of guy I want to get showered! I hope he reaps good things on all fronts as his books hit us between the eyes.

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