Meaning in the Modern World


Good Enough


Good Enough : )

Having ambition is a good thing and important. Yet is there a time when it becomes the source of anxiety and panic.

In the 1950s a British psychologist challenged these ideas of perfectionism. 

Donald Winnicott specialised in parent-child relationships and the parents he me often felt like failures. 

Their children weren’t as successful as they hoped. Marriage wasn’t perfect. And they hadn’t had as much success in their career as they’d wanted.

Winnicott believed this agony came from unrealistic hope. Despair was a result of too high ideals. Of perfectionism. Of the expectation that we’ll always get it right.

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No one needs a perfect parent he insisted. They just need a half-decent one. One mostly well-intentioned, sometimes grumpy, often tired, but generally ok.

No one is perfect. Staying sane is a task in itself. Ideals of perfection are dangerous. Relationships, work, love, marriage, career, education can be okay too.

Not great, not brilliant, not the best, not better than your neighbours. But good enough.

No job will be perfect, and no child will be. No relationship is ever smooth sailing.

Life requires bravery and skill.

To acknowledgment that is not to be tarry-eyed. It is a real acknowledgment that sometime our lives are good enough. And that this, in itself, is already a good achievement.


Good Enough, Matt, Oct 2016

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