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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

the enemy of the good


The good of what, exactly? Well, to answer that, I have to go back in time a little to when I was in college and was required to take 4 classes in Philosophy, something I wasn't even remotely interested in. Picture a basset hound who is sleeping lazily on a porch on a hot day and whose ears and head remain lazily down even at the arrival of its master. But this requirement was a brilliant move by my college and one of the top few things I am profoundly grateful for in my life. Through philosophy, my soul was awakened and the curtains of my mind were thrown open, and light came flooding in, the dust particles slowly floating away. Crazy? Well, the truth is sometimes crazy.

I in no way claim to be a professional philosopher, just a lover of the quest. So please excuse any rough edges as I try to explain "the good." When talking about "the good," the good of the ( and therefore ANY) human person is what is meant. What a lofty claim! How can anyone say there is a good? That is an argument for a different day. But, I like to picture it as man freed, walking briskly, happily, contentedly, knowing he is on the right path, knowing where he is going, and so, doing what he ought, and happy about it. No barriers exist, not even external obstacles, because those are not road blocks, but merely meant to be hoped over through virtue. These bumps in no way affect his happiness or his goal. Now, this also means that the right path doesn't lead to anything tangible or material. Because those things can be taken away, but rather, the person's flight toward virtue. I've done my best this morning.

Lets bring this thing down back to reality, shall we?

I get overwhelmed sometimes. ( With 5 kids... REALLY? :) I wish I could get my house organized in a timely fashion, meet every need for myself and those in my life. But it isn't possible. It's overall possible, but not when broken down into the minutiae that is our life. Yesterday morning, I was desperate to get the dishes out of the sink but I first needed to empty the dishwasher. I also have my toddler and 2 month old hanging out with me all day, so I can't always get to things as quickly as I would like. But that is where I realized I could actually celebrate emptying the dishwasher in part. I couldn't do the whole thing just then. But, I could work toward my goal and actually feel good about it. "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." - St. Josemaria Escriva

So next time you want things to be different or think you or someone else could be better, you of course are right. We all can be better and we all can work toward the better. But, we can also celebrate the smallest step in moving toward it when "the better" is a long time coming.

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