The Paradoxical Commandments

It is easy to feel sorry for oneself when one's efforts are not rewarded with victory. Lots of people who campaigned wholeheartedly for a candidate who didn't win must be feeling that way today. "Sorry for myself" describes my feelings right now because an enterprise that I poured lots of myself into over many years seems to be not living up to expectations (ie, it's falling apart). On the one hand, I'm mentally kicking myself wondering how I could have been so naive as to give such a large amount of time and energy to such a small and vulnerable enterprise, when, practically speaking, I might have predicted the outcome. On the other hand, I look back and can't figure out the place at which I should have withdrawn and done things differently. Considering both "hands," I'm simply brokenhearted at the apparent failure of well-meaning efforts.

Raise a hand if you can relate to the sting of nonvictorious effort.

I heard this on the radio awhile back and it helps to go back and read it. Supposedly, these words were found hanging by Mother Theresa's bed at the time of her death. My puny efforts in life shouldn't even be mentioned in the same posting as Mother Theresa's, as if there was any basis for comparison, but for the purpose of providing this resource, I will.

"The Paradoxical Commandments"
by Dr. Kent M. Keith

1. People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

2. If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

3. If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

4. The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

5. Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

6. 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.

7. People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

8. What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

9. People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

10. Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.