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The Paradoxical Commandments
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 youíll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

From Anyway:The Paradoxical Commandments (G. P. Putnamís Sons, 2002).
Used here with permission

Kent M. Keith is the author of ten books and has given more than 1200 speeches and workshops around the world during his almost 50-year career. The former president of Chaminade University and Pacific Rim Christian University, he is a passionate advocate of servant leadership and first published the above “commandments” in a book for student leaders. A Rhodes Scholar, Dr. Keith’s interests include music, riflery, and travel. He lives in Hawaii with his wife, Elizabeth. Learn more about him at




Post New Comment:
A beautiful roadmap on how to live one's life despite challenges that may occur. A profound poem of resilience and courage despite challenges that may bring stress, anxiety and hopelessness to one's life. Yet, love is the number one path to follow and needed especially now in our world.. What a powerful and meaningful use of the word, "anyway!'
Posted 11/20/2023 06:49 AM
Your profoundly meaningful and inspirational poem conveys a powerful message about perseverance.
Posted 11/19/2023 06:54 PM
Lori Levy:
Hard to follow, but great advice.
Posted 11/19/2023 12:39 PM
Joan Luther:
And turn the other cheek.thank you for the motivation, Dr. Keith!
Posted 11/19/2023 12:21 PM
Darrell Arnold:
It feels good to do good. In your heart you know what to do. Your own mind will force you to keep on striving, to stay on the right path, to do the right thing. Listen to it and obey. You will know the truth of things. Let the nay sayers neigh. I like what this man has to say.
Posted 11/19/2023 08:34 AM

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