Anyway Philosophy

Dear Friends

Greetings. We share with you today a poem by Bernard Shaw some quotes and also an attachment with the 10 paradoxical commandments. They have changed my outlook from the time I read them as I understood human dynamics and what it means to have the courage of conviction to take a stand against all odds and in the process of losing out on one owns integrity especially in the face of opposition when one wants to make things right.  People working in development should reflect on this very deeply. It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.

"Don't curse the darkness - light a candle." - Chinese proverb

Far too often we hear about something going on in the world that makes no sense. Most of the time you just shrug and say, "Man, that sucks, but what can you do?" That's apathy, and it's killing us. Do something about it. It doesn't have to be a lot, it just has to be something. Don't curse the darkness, light a candle to illuminate and destroy it.

If liberty and equality, as is thought by some are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in the government to the utmost. – Aristotle

It may sound corny, but try it. Let's see if it works. Let's see if those with common sense can illuminate those without, or those who have abandoned theirs temporarily. Let's see if we can make a difference in the world, and not just retreat from its sickness.  It is not always the same thing to be a good person and a good citizen . We may all not be able to hold positions in Government but governing government is the responsibility of the citizens of a democracy. That's why we want to focus on individuals. It's the power of ONE. Together as ONE we can right every wrong.


George Bernard Shaw

I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community, and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.

I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live.

Life is no "brief candle" to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for a moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations

I first came across the paradoxical commandments at a friend Chitra’s house at Chennai. Chitra is an IAS officer and was gifted these commandments by the honorable and respected Dr. Varghuese Kurien. (who is today one of our iCONGO Mentor and Karmaveer Awardee)

ANYWAY- 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.
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.

The abovementioned original paradoxical ten commandments were first written by Dr. Kent M Keith while he was a 19 year old Sophomore at Harvard college. He wrote them as part of a book for student leaders entitled The Silent Revolution: Dynamic Leadership in the Student Council, published by Harvard Student Agencies in 1968. The Paradoxical Commandments subsequently spread all over the world, and have been used by millions of people.

At that time Kent did not know the strength of these commandments. Years later at a rotary meeting one of the Rotarians started the meeting with the same prayer and the rest in Kent’s own words.

"I went up after the meeting and asked him where he got the poem. He said it was in a book about Mother Teresa, but he couldn't remember the title. So the next night I went to a bookstore and started looking through the shelf of books about the life and works of Mother Teresa. I found it, on the last page before the appendices in Mother Teresa: A Simple Path. The Paradoxical Commandments had been reformatted to look like a poem, and they had been rechristened "Anyway." There was no author listed, but at the bottom of the page, it said: "From a sign on the wall of Shishu Bhavan, the children's home in Calcutta."

"Mother Teresa, or one of her coworkers, thought that the Paradoxical Commandments were important enough to put up on the wall at their children's home, to look at, day after day, as they ministered to the children. That really hit me. I wanted to laugh, and cry, and shout–and I was getting chills up and down my spine. Perhaps it hit me hard because I had a lot of respect for Mother Teresa, and perhaps because I knew something about children's homes. Whatever the reason, it had a huge impact on me. That was when I decided to speak and write about the Paradoxical Commandments again, thirty years after I first wrote them."

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway. So do the right thing always even if it’s about going against all the forces and never forget that in today’s world when you want to do the right thing you become the wrong person".

The one I read at Chitra’s house also had 2 new commandments as given below.

What’s new may be so or may be old ideas in new forms


Great ideas do not always get translated into great realities


When I first read them I realised that this is the way the world is and the bitter truth about people that reflected in these commandments. I then asked a colleague Yashu to send me these over the email as they had impacted my thinking and given me clarity on human dynamics and researched this and found its roots to Kent.This now has become the bedrock for my personal philosophy in life where one needs to live by taking honorable and right stands.

Thanks and warm regards.

Jerry Almeida

Founder iCONGO