Friday, June 20, 2008

Our Most Important Daily Task

The most important daily task is not to complete one great project, but to refrain from doing harm. Our five paces forward will be lessened or destroyed if we also take four or six paces backwards.

This danger grows because we don't measure such swings every day. If we did so, we might be spurred into corrective action. Instead, we rush forward with our attention focused solely on whether or not we are achieving the positives and miss the extent to which we are accumulating what will eventually be a heavy and possibly lethal load of negatives. Many days, we make no progress at all because our time has been consumed by activities that simply restore the status quo.

That is why a realistic study of achievement must include self-discipline. We would do well to reduce our analysis of others and devote more time to understanding the mystery that is ourselves.


Eclecticity said...

I stumbled upon this prayer as a young buck years ago reading the Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner:

"You alone are the reader of hearts O Lord, and how can I expect to understand the heart of another when I don't even understand my own."

It puts a theological spin on what you shared, and also emphasizes the real chasm between people, even those that are close to each other.

We need each other for certain, but we only have ourselves, for certain too.


Eclecticity said...