By Oswald Sobrino, J.D.; M.A. (Econ.); M.A. (Theo.); M.L. (Master of Latin), doctoral student, University of Florida.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Not Perfectionism, But Always More

Sometimes people speak at cross-purposes when they really do agree. For example, some are troubled when I say: "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." They take it as an excuse for the status quo. But that is not the case.

To always seek more means to be practical and to embrace the more that is possible and is always less than perfect. The standard of perfectionism leads to paralysis because there is nothing perfect on this side of heaven and because perfectionism injects fear of the risk of failure that we all must embrace. Perfectionism is also very pessimistic and denies the possible breakthroughs that can come from persistent and patient incrementalism. For example, often, we fail to realize great gains, especially in education, when we give up prematurely on people.

As a result, the greatest ally of the status quo is paralyzing perfectionism. The greatest enemy of the status quo is the good that always seeks more. If we say it in Latin, we would say:

"Semper Magis, Quamvis Imperfectum"--Always More, However Imperfect.

(Image under GNU Free Documentation License, Wikimedia Commons)