As we leave 2020 behind and look forward to a better year ahead, Anne thought it would be a good moment to review "The Paradoxical Commandments," written by Dr. Kent M. Keith more than 50 years ago in a booklet for student leaders, and published in 2002, in Dr. Keith's national bestseller, "Anyway: The Paradoxical Commandments."
When I looked at the poem, it seemed to me that Dr. Keith's message was pretty simple: "Be a good person, and Do the Right Thing, No Matter What."
Anne gave me a big smile as she nodded in agreement, "Yes, Edna" she said, "and that is perfect guidance for every one of us!
"Let's make a pledge to "Do it anyway! To give the world our highest and best, to be good people and do the right thing, no matter what anyone says or does, no matter what obstacles may appear!"
The Paradoxical Commandments
by Dr. Kent M. Keith
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.
Give the world the best you have, and you’ll get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you have anyway.
© Copyright Kent M. Keith 1968, renewed 2001
With very best wishes for a better year ahead in 2021, from both of us, Anne Miner and Edna Tips!
Watch for Part Three in our series on Servant Leadership next week.