I ran across this piece, written in 1968 by Kent Keith, when he was 19 years old. It's crossed my mind a lot in the last few days, as people of this country both celebrate and lick their wounds. I've heard and read a lot of responses to the outcome of Tuesday's election. I have smiled at McCain supporters who have graciously, and even humorously accepted defeat. And I've been shocked and incensed by ignorant and hateful responses that I can't bring myself to link to here. I'm watching actual friendships struggle when prejudices are revealed, and turmoil amongst family members that can't bring themselves to agree to disagree.
This writing, especially the first line and last lines, comforts and calms me, while I sit back and watch these new days unfold.
THE PARADOXICAL COMMANDMENTS
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.
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.
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.
© Copyright Kent M. Keith