If a thing is worth doing - it is worth doing BADLY!

Yes you heard right!

I'm quoting Wendy Ulrich, Ph.D. from her book, Forgiving Ourselves.

Our culture teaches us,  "If a thing is worth doing it is worth doing well."  While it is true that it is a good thing to do your best there is another side of this quote that is just as true and even more applicable. 

"In order to do something well we must first be willing to do it badly."

"Things worth doing are worth doing imperfectly rather than throwing up our hands in defeat or sticking with what is easy and familiar.  Doing the right things imperfectly, while we learn to do them better, is far more important than wasting time doing less important but easier things well."

Wendy tells a story about Jonas Salk, the inventor of the vaccine that virtually ended polio in a single generation.

"Asked the secret of his genius, Salk credited his mother.  He told of being a small boy eating cookies and milk at his mother's table and ignoring her warnings that his milk glass was too close to the edge of the table.  Sure enough, his elbow caught the glass and the milk went flying.  He noted that most parents would angrily point out that they had warned about this very possibility, but his mother took a different approach. She surveyed the situation and asked calmly, 

"Well, son, what have you learned?"  

He said that attitude allowed him to withstand the discouragement of a thousand failed experiments, learning from his errors instead of giving in to feelings of stupidity and futility. Salk learned from his mother to face doing badly long enough to eventually do well"

"Our charge is to get back to God much, much wiser and better than when we left Him, something we can accomplish only through traveling the bruising, bloodying roads of mortal temptation, affliction, and periodic failure, as well as the roads of triumph, satisfaction, and ultimate joy."

(Think about learning a language, a sport, a musical instrument; think about learning to run a meeting, caring for a baby, driving a car; and then think about keeping up a good home, friendship, parenting a teenager, managing sexual temptation, overcoming addiction, discerning the Spirit, praying meaningfully).

"The best musicians learn to trust that the music they will ultimately make is more important than today's wrong notes."


Jennifer and Nathan said...

Hear! Hear!

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