Thursday, 5 March 2015

Good enough

It seems to me that our modern society is always striving for perfection. Society needs to be the best, the biggest, have the most etc etc...I'm not sure where this has derived from, but in my view it can't be healthy. Yes a little competition never did anyone any harm. I'm certainly not someone who agrees that primary school sports day can't have running races anymore because not everyone can win!  Of course we can't always win! There will always be people with more and unfortunately people with too little. We were not born equal and whilst we should work tirelessly towards creating a more balanced society, inequality will never be totally eradicated.
If we are always looking to achieve perfection, we are setting ourselves up to fail. Others will judge us inadequate; we will worry that we are somehow failing ourselves or our lived ones. This can't be right?!
In my book, I aim to be 'good enough'. The best parents don't over parent, don't give their precious children everything they want and don't work themselves half to death just so they can have the latest trainers or provide the correct present to take to children's parties! Crazy! A good parent is good enough to provide their children with food, clothing, love and attention, but makes mistakes and is willing to say "sorry, you can't have that, we can't afford it". A good enough wife cares for her husband and supports him, but doesn't subjugate her own wants and needs. A good enough housewife or homemaker keeps the house clean and tidy enough to be comfortable and healthy, but doesn't feel the need to devote her entire life to cleaning! A good enough friend, lends a listening ear, hugs and laughs, but knows to say 'No' if a request is too much. 
I have mentioned previously that I volunteer for Homestart. I am currently supporting a young woman with multiple children all with additional needs. Someone has gone into her home and judged her parenting and the home to be inadequate! I go in once a week - she loves her children very much, she provides for them, never shouts, gives plentiful hugs and affection. Yes the house isn't spotless, but it's warm and has age-appropriate toys and enough furniture to be serviceable. As far as I'm concerned she's doing a 'good enough' job in very difficult circumstances - certainly better than I could do - and surely that's all we can ask of ourselves?
I think we should all vow to aim for good enough and be pleased and satisfied with that! 
I strive to be good enough. I wouldn't want to be perfect and I'm quite sure I never will be!!

15 comments:

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    1. Indeed. I have had to teach myself not to be too hard on myself if I don't get everything done. I know I will either get it done, or perhaps it didn't really need to be done in the first place! I'm a fine one for making job lists....

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  2. Brilliant post this morning. What a wonderful job you are doing. So many people are too quick to judgewithout knowing the full story or circumstancs behind somebody's life

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    1. Thanks. Empathy seems to be a skill that is often missing in people today. Such a shame!

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  3. Ha! I was going to talk about this tomorrow. I get very cross about the "push push push, be the best you can be, go big or go home" mentality that seems to be popular at the minute. Does it have to be all or nothing, or is something better than nothing at all?

    Dan pointed me in the direction of an article the other day arguing that it's not sensible to try your best all the time. They argued (I think it was probably Oliver Burkeman) that to do everything to the best of your ability is inefficient, some things just need to be done and there's little or no benefit of doing more in some cases.

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    1. My son had a maths teacher a few years ago who commented in the annual report card that if my son just avoided making careless errors he could achieve 100%. He was regularly scoring in the high 90%s. My reaction was "Why does he need to get 100%?".

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    2. Great minds think alike? We alone can stand in judgment on ourselves and everyone's 'norm' is different. I'm perfectly content that I'm doing my best and it's good enough for me!

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  4. This is a very interesting post. I had a similar conversation the other day with a lady, concerning how much we feel we should provide for our children. My son's friends have all had cars bought for them, ready for them to learn to drive. We are not in a position to do this for our son. We give him a monthly allowance and also pay a fixed amount into a savings account for him for his future; whether he uses it for driving lessons or for going to university will be his decision. He has a little part time job and saves this money along with birthday and Christmas money. As far as I can see, he gets a lot of support, has a loving home and good food, along with an annual holiday if we can afford it. We do our best but I'm not getting into debt to give him everything. He never complains and never asks, and he is growing up learning that he can't have everything, and if he wants something, he needs to save up for it.

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    1. Quite right! There seems to be a strange sense of entitlement amongst many young people today with little sense of the fact that if they want things, they have to work hard to get them. I have concerns that there are whole strata of society who think they are owed something! Still, I can only influence how my own children behave and they know that money comes from hard work in school and then in employment. At least, my children should pass those values on to their children.

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  5. Well said! I agree with everything you've said in this post. My sister-in-law just told me about going to her granddaughter's birthday party. The child was turning two years old and there were over a dozen kids at the party, and their parents were there too. Everyone was fed a meal, and a bouncy castle had been rented, along with treats being handed out. And many of the gifts that were given to her granddaughter were in the $50 range. Apparently this is the new standard for parents to live up to. I wonder what kind of message is being given to the kids.

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    1. Madness isn't it! Where will it end? A new car?!!! I've never been one for massive consumerism, but the simpler the life I lead, the more it distresses me to see! My children all played proper 'parlour games' and seemed to love it!!

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  6. Well said, I agree with every word. What a brilliant post. xx

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    1. Thanks. I always worry about coming across too 'preachy', but I should know by now that there are many of us out there who are of the same mindset! :)

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  7. Totally agree! Great post, very thoughtful. xx

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  8. Great post ! just up my street!
    Gill

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