Don’t Let the Perfect be the Enemy of the Good

Do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

Just because you cannot do everything does not mean you should do nothing.

No task worth recording in the annals of history was truly completed by one person.

No great movement for good rests upon the shoulders of one being.

Every great change takes time, and effort, and the participation of the masses.

Do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

Martin Luther King Jr. was a great man, but his work was not to bring change.  His work was to motivate thousands of other people to bring change.  The same is true of Mahatma Gandhi, and even the Buddha.

Consider the traditional example of a river.  A few drops of water by themselves do not cut a valley through the mountains.  Even the initial rushing river does not make the change instantly.  Over time however, millions upon millions of droplets of water combining together and flowing in a single direction carved out even the Grand Canyon itself.

 There is much to be done in this world to make it the place that we all want it to be, and the tasks ahead are truly momentous.  They are not however tasks for a single person who can complete them in one grand action.  They are not even tasks that a single man can complete in an entire lifetime.

They are tasks for us all to work towards.  They are tasks for us all to contribute to.

The matter of hunger in this world is a grave crisis.  One person cannot repair the damage that has been done.  However, one person may be able to provide a single meal for another.  Will it fix the problem completely? No.  Is it the “perfect” solution that will make the problem end forever? No.  Will it make a difference? Yes.

One person can help to feed another.  A group of people can provide training to others.  People can help their fellow man.  It may not bring change instantly, but over time, as more people work together as pressure grows, we can make change like the river that cuts a canyon through stone.

You cannot save the world, but you do not have to.  Do what you can.  Do everything you can.  Let other people know what your cause is so that they can do the same.  Do not try to be the river, but don’t refuse to be the droplets either.