Ripples #1131: Making Masterpieces (minus perfection)
Jan 25, 2021
You are made for perfection, but you are not yet perfect. You are a masterpiece in the making.
-The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama
shared by Allexendra in San Diego, CA
Perfection comes out of molds or off assembly lines. It is not the natural state of things. And the great irony is that we value things made by hand more than we do things that come from machines, despite the fact that things from machines are more…perfect.
shared by Sue in Plymouth, MI
OH PHOOEY! This was the sentiment I expressed aloud when the first person reached out last week, catching a likely misattribution of last week’s Pebble in our annual tribute to Dr. King (I may have used a different word than PHOOEY.) A few others expressed similar concern, and our collective research revealed no evidence that he ever wrote or spoke the lines.
I strive to accurately and fairly credit the inspiration we share here, and I’ve been willing to put in a reasonable (though certainly not exhaustive) effort to verify quote sources. I’m generally satisfied with a “less than perfect” record of accuracy, but missing this one was disappointing, especially since I spent SO much time last week pouring over Dr. King’s Letter from the Birmingham Jail to find a longer quote that wasn’t often used.
One of many important lessons I value in Layla Saad’s “Me and White Supremacy” and Ibram Kendi’s “How to Be an Antiracist“: erring and failing are essential components of learning and growing. Besides the fact that actual, literal perfection is unattainable, Striving for perfection requires concentrating on a far off (and possibly unattainable) endpoint. Focusing instead on daily progress is achievable today because it involves what is happening right here, right now.
So today I apologize to Dr. King, to all of you, and also to myself, grateful for an opportunity to grow. Not only did an error reveal a useful theme for this week’s Ripples, it led me to find a slightly more complete and more useful version of the quote submitted as today’s Boulder.
Whatever you’re working on today, may it become a masterpiece.