How to Be Great With People (even when the people you’re with aren’t being great themselves)

Think about it — what would the world look like if we all made the choice to be great with people all the time, instead of being angry, vengeful, right, resentful, or just plain unkind?

What would it be like to not resent the plumber who came to your house to fix a small leak and managed to flood your entire kitchen and den?

What would it be like to forgive the senior driver who inadvertently merges your car right off the road and up against the highway barrier?

What would it be like to give up anger and have a calm discussion with your child about the importance of integrity and being their word after they’ve been caught in a lie?

What would it be like to stop harboring negative feelings for a neighbor whose political leanings differ from yours?

The Paradoxical Commandments

Engraved on the wall of the children’s home founded by Mother Theresa in Calcutta, India, are The Paradoxical Commandments. These verses were written by Dr. Kent M. Keith when he was just 19 years old, and they offer us guidance on how to be great with people, even when the people we are with aren’t being great themselves:

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.

© Copyright Kent M. Keith 1968, renewed 2001

If ever our world needed to take these words to heart, it is now!

Being great with people is about being bigger than your complaints.

It’s about having a commitment that is greater than you and your corner of the world.

It’s about being committed to the good of humanity—everywhere, always—and creating peace in every interaction in your life.

It’s about being committed to a better world, which starts with you.

Imagine the results if every single person on this planet was great with every other person. Jails would close, armies would disband, and families, communities, and countries would flourish!

Do you have the courage to take it on? Of course you do!

Now choose!


Clay Nelson
Clay Nelson
Founder/President at Clay Nelson Life Balance
Clay Nelson's background includes science, systems analyst, and business management. After 30 years of corporate leadership, Clay knows the key elements that make a business successful, and for more than two decades, Clay has been providing business executives and their teams, from all industries, executive business and professional coaching, mediation, facilitation, planning, system analyses and seminar leadership. Read More »


We want to hear from you! In the space below, please leave us your comments or ask any questions you have.

Subscribe to our Blog

"I agree to receive emails from ClayNelsonLifeBalance."

  • Should be Empty:
  • Members Menu

    Site Search

    Recent Member Articles

      Get Our New Ebook – Free!

      Ready to Create a Life You Love?

      Over the years, many people have approached me for information on how to create their life plan. They were ready and willing, but they lacked a written resource that not only taught what to include, but also how to choose to push past all the things that can get in the way of happiness, to create a life they love. Enter my newest eBook, Keep Your Life Moving Forward: Life planning tools to keep on track when life gets tough!

      Download your free copy now! »

      An Introduction to CNLB

      Get the Book!

      Moving You Forward: One Thought At a Time

      Be unstoppable with this powerful and uplifting tool packed with 220 pages of lessons, motivation and inspiration.

      Choose to live the life you say you want to have… no matter what!

      Full Details & Preview »
      Listen Anywhere, Anytime!

      MP3s Now Available

      You have asked, and we listened!

      The Clay Nelson Life Balance Audio Series is now available for digital download to your iPod, iPhone/smartphone, desktop computer...Imagine, the tools and insights you need, right at your fingertips!

      Details & Previews »

      High Fives

      “Clay produces results by bringing out the best in you. His no nonsense get to the point attitude is addictive. And very helpful. I met Clay probably 15 years ago. To this day his friendship and support continues. Clay produces results.“

      Kevin Frasco, CGP, CAPS
      President/Owner of Craig Custom Builders, Inc.

      Copyright © 2020 Clay Nelson Life Balance - A Division of Consulting Services Network, LLC