There are a lot of ironies in life, don’t you think? Maybe a better word is paradoxical, such as “look, but don’t touch, smell, but don’t taste.” I’m even thinking that maybe another word to throw into the mix is cynical.
What do I mean by ironic, paradoxical and cynical? Good question, because those three words are confusing and often mis-used. But for my purposes, I’m relating them to being a good, positive person. For example, we can praise and uplift another, making them feel better, while all the while, that person is attacking us behind our back. Or, we can be the person who always strives to do good works and help others, yet despite those acts of kindness and compassion, we may never receive a single word of thanks.
Do It Anyway
“Ironically,” if that’s even the proper use of the word, we should always do good, be positive, compassionate and kind anyway.
Kent M. Keith gives us some wonderful insight into this phenomenon with his “Paradoxical Commandments,” and they are most assuredly worth the read, because we can learn a great deal about how we can all learn to be better people:
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.”
I love these words of wisdom and interestingly, Mother Teresa, who was the embodiment of kindness, thought so highly of Kent M. Keith’s “Paradoxical Commandments,” that she put them up on the wall of her children’s home in Calcutta.
Life can be a challenge and staying positive can sometimes be difficult, but that’s precisely what we need to do. So when it seems that no one appreciates your kindness…be kind anyway. When it appears that you’re giving all the love you can, but aren’t getting it in return…love anyway. And, when it looks like you’re at the end of your rope, as the saying goes, “tie a knot and hang on” anyway.