Finding Personal Meaning in a Crazy World
There are many confusing things in life, and many things that may not obviously appear so are in fact a paradox.
Do any of the following statements make sense to you?
We act as though our resources will last forever, instead of replenishing them and building a sustainable future.
There is enough food produced throughout the world to provide sufficient calories for each person on earth. However, hundreds of thousands of people starve to death.
We say the future depends on our children, but we don't spend a lot of time with them. We graduate hundreds of thousands of students each year who cannot read their own high school diplomas.
Many of our teenagers are cut off from positive adult influence, and we wonder why so many of them seek a sense of belonging in gangs. And then we mourn when this alienation and the use of weapons result in killing sprees on school campuses across the nation.
We say we want a world that is built on merit, but who you know has become much more important in many cases, than what you know. People become famous for just being a member of the "in crowd" instead of actually contributing value that supports the highest good of others.
We Live in a Crazy World
How much of this makes any sense to you? I can imagine that just like me, you're shaking your head and wondering what is really going on. A lot of what happens in the world doesn't make any sense, but you can make sense and find personal meaning in a crazy world. This is the premise for The Paradoxical Commandments written by Kent M. Keith.
Keith challenges us in his book to "find personal meaning in a crazy world by living a paradoxical life." He writes, "A paradox" is an idea that is contrary to popular opinion, something that seems to contradict common sense and yet is true. As you read the following ten Paradoxical Commandments from his book consider how they can help you be free from the craziness of the world and find personal meaning.
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 them anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.
Keith proclaims, "All of us can change lives by doing the simple, loving things that we all know how to do. When more people are focused on meaning and less focused on "success" the world will start to make sense. The world will be a lot less crazy when meaning-oriented individuals are out front, addressing real needs and solving real problems without worrying about recognition or applause."
What do you think about the ten Paradoxical Commandments? Do you believe that if we focused on meaning and less on success that our world would be better? Why or Why not? I highly recommend this book to be read by anyone trying to make sense of the world while at the same time seeking to create a sense of meaning in his or her life.
Share your thoughts in the comments below. If you liked this article, share it with your social networks. Help me to help others create meaning in their lives by inspiring their heart and mind to believe that they can embrace life with more passion and courage.
Thank you for reading, connecting and sharing. I appreciate you. Until the next time...
Grow Forward & Flourish