Thursday, November 08, 2007

Rebuke me not

After psalm 6 comes psalm 38, a reminder. No wonder I have been fearful these past two weeks - preparation for meditation on the wounds of folly.

My comptroller and I were meditating briefly on what people expect of each other. They may expect perfection, or we may feel that it is so expected and therefore even expect or demand it of ourselves. But what is this 'perfection'. Hey - if we can't do it, let's redefine the objective. Not perfection in the sense of flawless, but rather perfection in the sense of useful and a sufficient completeness. While there remain spots and wrinkles, and while there are burdens, we need, in that meanwhile, an inscrutable quality of grace in order to be able to live with each other.

Is it a reflection of original sin that we impose an unachievable expectation on others for we imagine we could have or have achieved it ourselves? Or is it better to think of it as part of the price of our wounds (the link to Isaiah 53 is in the psalm) that we learn to bear for each other as part of our emerging wholeness?

I am of the opinion that no human should say 'never' - as in 'he will never be ...'. (And let those who think they stand take care lest they fall.)

This trade-off between completion as usefulness and unachievable perfection is contained in the French proverb: Le meilleur est l'enemie du bon. Likewise it spans the tension between - If it ain't broke, don't fix it, and Does this company ever deliver anything?

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