by Dr. Kent M. Keith
People are illogical, unreasonable,
Love them anyway.
If you do good,
Do good anyway.
If you are successful,
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
Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
What you spend years building
People really need help
Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have
Give the world the best you have anyway.
© Copyright Kent M. Keith 1968, renewed 2001
he Paradoxical Commandments were written by Kent M. Keith in 1968 as part of a booklet for student leaders. This website provides information about the origin of the Paradoxical Commandments and the many places they have been sighted over the years. You can purchase books and products based on the Paradoxical Commandments, join the "Live the Paradoxical Commandments Anyway" Facebook page, and share your story about how the Paradoxical Commandments have made a difference in your life. You can also learn about the author and contact him directly.
For more than thirty years, the Paradoxical Commandments have circled the globe. They have been put on walls and refrigerator doors, featured in speeches and articles, preached from pulpits, and shared extensively on the web. They have been used by business leaders, military commanders, government officials, religious leaders, university presidents, social workers, teachers, rock stars, parents, coaches, and students. Mother Teresa thought the Paradoxical Commandments were important enough to put up on the wall of her children's home in Calcutta.
The Paradoxical Commandments have touched the hearts of millions of people all over the world. We hope that the Paradoxical Commandments will touch your heart, too!