TODAY’S WORD – BEST
I think it was my third grade teacher, Mrs. Palmer, who first recited this little poem to our class:
Good, better, best
Never let it rest
Until good is better
And better is best.
It has remained with me for about seventy years. What I took from that was that ‘good’ and ‘better’ were obviously inferior and that best was the only part of that trio worth having. I became my own harshest critic. Everything I did I could see was less than ‘best’ and there were many teachers, mentors, friends, loved ones, and enemies along the way who reinforced that perception for me.
Now I’m coming to believe that no one ever achieves ‘best’. We can improve and improve but we have no way of objectively determining what “best” is. We can achieve a “best so far” which is another way of defining “better”. But best is always a temporary condition: someone else (or we ourselves) will likely outdo that just by striving to do better. Aiming for best is aiming for a moving target. And somehow we feel like utter failures when we fall short.
There is no definitive way of measuring ‘best’. We all carry our own yardsticks to measure our own efforts and those of others. And we all fall short of some standard that someone somewhere imposes on our efforts. And we are tempted to give up.
So, what to do? I think we should forget that little poem and get on with doing the things that give us satisfaction. Simply by continuing to ‘do’, we will improve, become better than we were at what we do. Neither we nor the world is apt to judge what we do as Best; if it is judged as ‘Good’, or perhaps ‘Better’ than our last effort, then we have succeeded.
By all means, keep striving to improve. Nothing is wrong with this admonition except the way we react to it. If we give up, knowing that we will never be ‘best’, we miss out on much of the joy of living. Creating is a joyful, fulfilling act, however the creation is judged.
Until Next Time Writer’s!
Ellie Pulikonda, Writer/Author
My Book “Finding Faith” has Now Released!
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