The Paradoxical Commandments

Written by Hollye Dexter

October 1, 2010

Years ago, the following “Paradoxical Commandments” hung on the wall of Mother Theresa’s children’s home in Calcutta. I found them so relevant to my own life, I had them posted on my refrigerator for years, and find myself very much needing to read them again now.

I wanted to share them with you, and hope they will bring you comfort at a time when you need it.


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.

You see, in the end, it never was about you and them.
It was always between you and God, anyway.
© Copyright Kent M. Keith 1968

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  1. Deb and Barbara

    Ah, this is so so good! Thanks for posting this. I'm sure I read it years ago, but forgot to tape it to my fridge.

    Thanks for taping it to our fridge today, Hollye — because, man, it's a good one!


  2. Anonymous

    Loved this Hollye.

  3. Anonymous

    This is a promise to support you and your dreams as you do the same for so many others. In reciprocity – there is self-love. Linda


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