Do Good Anyway
“If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Do Good Anyway“
It‘s January 2021 and goodness it’s been a wild 2020. I last posted a personal blog post in January of 2020, just a few weeks before we all started this COVID-19 rollercoaster. Looking back over the last year I know I’m not the only one who has done some introspective thinking. So… Do Good Anyway – what does this mean and why am I writing about it?
Well I’ve loved the quote for a long time but I’ve always thought it was attributed to Mother Teresa… I’ve come to learn that while she loved it, and had it up on the wall in one of her children’s homes in Calcutta, she did not originally say it.
This is actually only part of the full quote or what is actually called The Paradoxical Commandments by the original author Dr. Kent M. Keith.
It’s an interesting story and if you want to read it you can see more here on his website.
I will say that this is heavily influenced by the Christian line of faiths. Someday I may go more into my spiritual journey but I’ll just say that I’ve branched out to honor and love so many of the great aspects of our world religions – including the teaching of Christ.
I’m not going to go into that entire story but I am going to include the ‘Paradoxical Commandments’ here so you don’t have to go looking for them somewhere else:
The Paradoxical Commandments
by Dr. Kent M. Keith
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 1968, renewed 2001
If you resonate with these ‘Commandments’ there is a great possibility that we, you and I, will resonate on many levels.
Now I do want to be clear – I’ve not always lived according to these.
If I believe, and at a core level, feel aligned with these then why haven’t I always lived in line with these?
Because I have not always lived in line with myself.
This sounds crazy but as I’ve talked to hundreds if not thousands of people, when you get right down to it, 99.9% live out of alignment with who they are. And it hurts, it creates this guilt and shame that while it eats at us it also becomes easier to bear the longer we do it.
This is the facade that we can feel when we are around other people, and it’s the facade we put up to just fit in. Sadly this ‘fake’ version becomes more who we are then that truer version of us that lives deep inside. We all want to do and be good. So why don’t we actually live that way?
Because the world is broken.
And we try to fit into this broken world.
We go to work at jobs we don’t love or even hate.
We lie so we don’t hurt those around us or become exposed ourselves, even to ourselves.
We allow others to treat us in ways that hurt our hearts & souls.
We treat others in ways that leave us feeling guilty and ashamed – even if we don’t admit it – we all feel it somewhere deep inside.
Have you ever heard of the shopping cart theory? If not you probably already know what the gist is.
The basic premise is based on the reality that we all know what we should do when we are done with the shopping cart (or trolly…) yet it’s become socially acceptable to just place it where ever you want.
It’s not like anyone is going to chase you down and scold you for NOT putting the cart back in the right place.
I’ve wondered about some of the other things we do when we know we can get away with it.
If you wonder why we are living in the society we see when we look around these might be a clue…
How do you operate in the following situations:
What do YOU do with your shopping cart when you’re done with it?
Driving… Do I need to say more
Public Spaces (Bathrooms, Litter, when you see something fallen over like a small local cafe’s sandwich board – do you set it back up, etc…)
Talking about other people behind their back… Do you say good things or…
Opening doors for those coming in behind you
Cheating when you can get away with it
How do you play games
How do you treat other people who are below you, equal to you, or above you?
Do you blame or take responsibility?
Motivation, do you do the right thing because someone is watching, guilt, or a desire to do the right thing?
The answers to questions like this outline how we, as a society are living.
Most people are GOOD, but society has taught us it’s ok to cut corners and it’s making an impact on human behavior.
But we don’t admit it, we don’t really question, or look deeply at it.
It’s too big a problem to fix right?
Who are we to even try to fix it anyway?
(How arrogant must we be to think we even could)
Well, I’m done with all that. I want to be a part of building a community of people who want to live life authentically. Those who want to start making the hard changes that will feel so right and yet still be uncomfortable at the same time.
Maybe over time, we can grow large enough to influence the larger world but if that happens or doesn’t it’s still the right thing to do.
Are you interested in learning more about that?
I am, and I’m excited to learn from you!
Let’s connect and see where this crazy train goes.