Monday, 26 November 2012

Celebrate the attempt!

There's a sad tendency I've seen grow in the past few years.  Someone tries to do something positive.  But it isn't perfect.  Immediately, people tear down the attempt by picking on the imperfection.
A few years ago, I tried a low-carb diet.  I was very disappointed with a number of my friends who immediately decried the diet and my attempt at it.  I don't discount the risks inherent in dieting, and ultimately I didn't sustain it.  But was the right approach to attack an attempt I was making to make a positive change in my life?
In another vein, I was discussing the recent theft from the Salvation Army with an acquaintance.  They were citing the theft as a reason not to support the Salvation Army.  Again, I was very disappointed.  The Salvation Army had done a great deal of good over the years.  It's unfortunate that someone within the organization chose to besmirch that reputation, but to decide they are unworthy of support on that basis is absurd.
Is the problem that we've latched on to aphorisms like "Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day.  Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a life time?"  When someone can't or doesn't teach the man to fish, are we right to chastise them for giving the fish?  They did something good, but it wasn't good enough?
There's nothing wrong with a desire for perfection.  I've always believed we should strive for it.  But I recognize that we strive for perfection, not in the hope of success, but in the hope of achieving excellence.  I also think we need celebrate the attempts as much as we celebrate the victories.

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