Monday, 11 October 2010


I googled 'Paradox' for an arty picture to illustrate this post but couldn't resist this conundrum.  How can this be?  Explain my spinning head.

It makes me think of a similarly knotty and seemingly unsolvable problem doing the rounds at work last week.  It went something like this:

Three men check into a hotel room (And no, one of them wasn't William Hague trying to save on his expenses!).  The room rate is £30 so each guest pays their share, £10.  Later the receptionist realizes that the  bill should only be £25. To rectify this, he gives the porter £5 to return to the guests.  But, on the way to the room, the porter realises that he cannot divide the money equally so he gives each guest £1 each and keeps £2 for himself.  Each of the guests has been refunded £1 and so have paid £9 in total.  The total paid for the room amounts to £27. The porter has £2. If the guests originally handed over £30, what happened to the missing £1?  I'm pleased to say that Wiki put me out of my misery!

I've gone wildly off the point of this post which was to introduce a piece of writing, The Paradoxical Commandments, which was read at a recent retirement do that I attended.  It deserves to be more widely known and would make a lovely reading at a family event. When I heard the words, they were wrongly attributed to Mother Teresa because she pinned it to the walls in her children's home in Calcutta.  This apparently common mistake meant  I was lead on a merry dance before finding the piece.   It is, in fact,  the work of an American, Kent M. Keith and was incorporated in a book, written in the sixties,  for student leaders.

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 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.

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