Can you think of something or someone you have encountered that really impacted you because of excellence?
One for me was Guide Dog School. There was a high quality there that extended from the physical environment, to staff and students. The expectation that everyone would join in this standard was explicit and clearly demonstrated.
Two things that I came away with because of this experience were that I am worthy of care and I want to offer that same honor to others.
This is a rather stark contrast to much of life these days. “Good enough” seems to rule, from food products that are less than nutritious for us, yet convenient and deceptively tasty, to televisions and electronics that can simply be tossed a year or two after they are purchased.
We sometimes stop at “good enough” in relationships as well. We keep the peace or act in a friendly manner, but don’t allow others too close. The result is isolation, which breeds fear.
What would happen if we raised the bar? I am thinking that peace and confidence would begin to replace fear; that honor would be much easier to demonstrate.
Another thing that would happen is that we would be healthier, which would give us more energy and enthusiasm.
As we dared to offer true friendship, isolation would disappear. We might even find that we have time to help others as they reach out to us.
Excellence fosters joy and hope: We find beauty where we missed it before; we become more creative; therefore, we are more fulfilled.
All of this is like a positive snowball: One thing builds on another, until poverty of soul and spirit are gone.
If there is good news about “good enough,” it would be that we can build on it. Instead of settleing for “that will do,” we can ask, “Now, how could this be better?”
What seems excellent to you? How would you like to build on things that are not quite there yet?
“whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” Philippians 4:8