The Paradoxical Commandments

This comes from the weekly Character Counts newsletter that I receive. The newsletter is a consolidation of Michael Josephson’s 5 radio essays on L.A.’s KNX1070 each week. Anyway, I liked this one a lot. It was originally written by a 19-year-old sophomore at Harvard and he called it the “Paradoxical Commandments”:

  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 will 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 underdogs anyway.
  8. What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway.
  9. People who need help may attack you if you 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.

    Now that’s one of the coolest things I’ve read in a long time.

    Published by Jamie Todd Rubin

    Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Falls Church, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.