The Paradoxical Commandments

Paradoxical Commandments

For more than thirty years, the Paradoxical Commandments have circled the globe. They have been put on walls and refrigerator doors, featured in speeches and articles, preached from pulpits, and shared extensively on the web. They have been used by business leaders, military commanders, government officials, religious leaders, university presidents, social workers, teachers, rock stars, parents, coaches, and students. Mother Teresa thought the Paradoxical Commandments were important enough to put up on the wall of her children’s home in Calcutta:

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.

Credit: The Paradoxical Commandments were written by Kent M. Keith in 1968 as part of a booklet for student leaders.Dr. Keith has been an attorney, a state government official, a high tech park developer, president of a private university, graduate school lecturer, community organizer, and YMCA executive. He is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Greenleaf Center for Servant-Leadership.He earned a B.A. in Government from Harvard University, an M.A. in Philosophy and Politics from Oxford University, a Certificate in Japanese from Waseda University in Tokyo, a J.D. from the University of Hawaii, and an Ed. D. from the University of Southern California. He is a Rhodes Scholar.

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Different Yoga Strokes for Different Yoga Folks

Different Yoga Strokes For Different YogaFolks
During the original Gita Talk, we had a fascinating discussion about science vs. religion, at the end of which I wrote the following to a strong supporter of the scientific view:

Ah, the beauty of Yoga.

One can take a scientific view of the universe,
like yours,
or a divinity view
like Graham Schweig’s,
and still end up in pretty much
the same blissful place.

The bliss can be seen
as the release of certain chemicals in the brain,
as in your view,
or a personal love affair with God,
as in Schweig’s view.

The Gita doesn’t really care.
Both of you are experiencing
the infinite unfathomable wonder of the universe
first hand.

The ancient Yoga sage(s) who wrote the Gita recognized that different people would need different types of Yoga to match their personality types.

People who are primarily analytical in nature might feel most comfortable with Jnana Yoga, or the Yoga of Understanding. They like to think and philosophize about Yoga.

People who are primarily people orientedmight be most attracted to Karma Yoga, or the Yoga of Action, which emphasizes selfless giving and compassion.

People who are highly emotional in nature might prefer Bhakti Yoga, or the Yoga of Love and Devotion, which emphasizes love, sacred chanting, mantras, and devotional kirtan music.

Finally, people who are what psychologists call “drivers” might tend towards Raja Yoga, or the Yoga of Meditation, as exemplified by the progressive spiritual attainment of the Yoga Sutra.

None of this is meant to pigeonhole people. We all have aspects of all these types within us. But most people have what psychologists call a “dominant style.” And, according to the Gita, all of these paths lead to the same place–a deep awareness of the infinite wonder of the universe.

I was surprised by how closely the types of Yoga in the Gita correspond to modern personality theory. It’s almost an exact match. The ancient Yoga guys figured out thousands of years ago that there are different Yoga strokes for different Yoga folks.

Credit: This has been written by Bob Weisenberg. He is Editor of Best of Yoga Philosophy and former Yoga Editor & Assoc. Publisher of elephant journal. He is the author of Yoga Demystified and Bhagavad Gita in a Nutshell, as well as Co-editor of Yoga in America. For more details visit:

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Kindness Is Not Easy!

Kindness is not skin deep. It is all embracing. That is why it is not easy as it needs our attention and our energy. But it is worth it. Because it enriches our life and multiplies our blessings.

Please share this video and pass this message of kindness around. Let none amongst us regret that we had an opportunity to make a positive difference in somebody’s life and we held back.

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Our Choices Have Consequences

Satao - World's Largest Tusker

Satao - World's Largest Tusker

Today news broke that the world’s largest elephant, Satao, is dead, killed by poachers for his tusks. Satao is dead to feed the global demand for ivory. Satao was just 45 years old and he easily had another 15 to 25 years to live.

Satao’s passing has all of Kenya mourning. He was an iconic elephant. He was such a phenomenal elephant that he was provided a lot of protection. He lived in the Tsavo East National Park in northern Kenya. The Kenyan Wildlife Service (KWS) kept a watchful eye on him in an attempt to protect him. Yet in spite of all this, poachers were able to hunt Satao down and steal his ivory.

Satao was an extraordinarily intelligent elephant. It seemed that he knew that he was being hunted for his tusks, so he hid in the bushes most of the time. But all Satao’s wisdom was not enough against modern day poachers using GPS, hunting gear, and night vision goggles.

Satao’s death shows how hard conservation is. But we must not misstate the problem. On the surface it appears as if poachers killed Satao. But that is just part of the story, Satao has been killed by all those who use ivory and ivory products. If there was no demand for ivory Satao would have been alive today. Our choice to use ivory is the cause for death of thousands of elephants every year. It appears as if the demand is coming from China and Thailand. But these two countries are using ivory in products that are then exported all over the world. Ivory is used to make chopsticks, jewelry, ornaments, art work, hair accessories, and decorative pieces. When we buy these products we feed the demand and at the other end of the supply-chain an elephant is killed. Every year, upwards of 20,000 elephants are slaughtered for their ivory.

Satao’s story illustrates that as consumers we have tremendous impact on the environment. But it is not just about ivory. It is about the general patterns of our consumption. We have to ask ourselves if our consumption of any given thing is sustainable or not. In case it is not sustainable we must look for alternatives or change our behavior to minimize or avoid its use. We need to move from being blind consumers to being conscious consumers. Because our choices have consequences.

Kenya’s biggest elephant killed by poachers
A beautiful video of a woman singing lullaby to an elephant

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Kites And Swans


In the olden times, Kites as well as Swans had beautiful voices using which they sang lovely songs. But when they heard the neigh of the horse, they were so enchanted with the sound that they tried to imitate it. In trying to neigh, they forgot how to sing. And today all Kites and Swans can do is make high pitch calls resembling the neigh of the horse.

This story is from the Aesop fable, and it illustrates the danger of chasing imagined benefits, and losing the present blessings that we may already have.

Isn’t it true that growing up most of us are blessed with health and peace of mind that we take for granted? Then we begin chasing after ego-driven goals, and we lose both our peace of mind and health. And what do we gain in return? Is it worth it?

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Credits:This has been written by Raj Shah and edited by Ketna Shah.

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