Years ago, I read the Paradoxical Commandments. I immediately thought, “this is life-altering thinking.” To adopt this lifestyle would require empathy, compassion, love, patience, kindness, godliness, and authenticity. I still think these are powerful words, so before I offer SIX OF MY OWN PARADOXICAL THOUGHTS, here are the original from Kent Keith, circa 1969.
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 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 with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men 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.
- Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you have anyway.
Good stuff, right? Well, here are my 6 Paradoxical Thoughts, circa May 2017:
- You desperately want to succeed, but failure is required if you truly succeed.
- Your past keeps reminding you that you’ve made a mess of your life, but God specializes in redeeming folks from their past. Let Him forgive you and move on.
- Serving people can get pretty messy and you will be taken advantage of. Give and serve anyway. Let the Divine sort that out.
- There’s a lot of reasons to be bitter, but anybody can be bitter. Make a choice to rise above it all and be better, not bitter. Besides, why be anybody, when you are already somebody.
- Grandma was right, “If you don’t have anything good to say, it’s your fault.” The world loves to find fault and deliver blame. Be the person that fixes problems, not blame. And end the curse of negative chatter by speaking positive, encouraging words.
- Everybody is seeking something more. Choose to seek peace, it’s the very best of all things, more. It’s life’s greatest commodity.