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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Do Your Best Anyway

Monday I came home at noon for lunch and discovered someone had uprooted and stolen the colorful crotons that Kathy and I had planted some time ago by our front porch.  Actually the idea to plant them was Kathy’s.  She had watered and cared for them over many months.  I called her at work to give her the news; I wanted to spare her the wrenching feeling of emptiness on seeing the beautiful plants gone, now only evidenced by gaping holes in the ground.  To be honest I thought of yesterday’s blog where I discussed the sensational freedom of forbidden behavior and the almost sexual exhilaration and high that can accompany it.  I wonder while uprooting our plants if the thief felt a twinge of illicit excitement (or was he now at some addiction phase)?  I only know that when I saw the plants missing and realized they had been stolen, I felt a fleeting but definite sense of violation, almost of the same family as sexual violation.

Today I would like to refer Kathy to the original version of the advice “to do it anyway.”  I love Kathy first for having the dream and then for making the tireless effort to beautify our home—even though part of the dream was destroyed today.

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 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.

© 1968, 2001 Kent M. Keith
"The Paradoxical Commandments" were written by Kent M. Keith in 1968 as part of a booklet for student leaders. (Source)

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