ECCE! IV Anything Worth Doing
|Anything Worth Doing is Worth Doing Badly
“Anything worth doing is worth doing badly” is a variation of a well known quotation. At first it may seem to be a contradiction. But is it?
How many of us took our first toddling steps without stumbling? Was that effort worth doing badly? Would we have learned to walk without that initial effort? Remember your first young efforts to tie your shoelaces. Did you ever get your laces into a tangled knot, only to be helped by Mom? Remember your first effort at swimming. Did you streak along like an Olympian at first? Consider the thousands of immigrants who had to learn English as a second language. Was fractured English worth doing?
You all know from experience that much of learning and achievement is involved with doing something badly at first. Examples abound. Learning to read, learning to write, learning to drive, to play the piano or other musical instrument. Doesn’t the same thing apply to learning Latin? Will the ability be easy to acquire? Well, it will be easier for some than for others. Each of us brings our natural abilities, particular education, and life experiences to the task.
Henry Ford said, “Whether you believe that you can, or believe that you can’t, you’re right.” That applies to us all. For when we lock into “I can’t” and we convince ourselves of this – then we truly can’t. We are so convinced of our inability that we don’t even try. Those who are reading this have cleared that first hurdle. You are working at learning Latin. But are there other hurdles ahead? Do we lock into the “I can’t” mode when we are confronted with the need to memorize four conjugations of verbs? Perhaps we feel overwhelmed by the five declensions.
Realistically, maybe we can’t achieve those things, RIGHT NOW, but maybe we can do a PIECE of it. Each of us, in these undertakings has different personal assets that will determine what task level is appropriate for us.
Robert Schuller in his “Move Ahead with Possibility Thinking” has said, “Inch by inch, anything’s a cinch.” Let’s take it a bit at a time. Nibble away. The important ingredient is ACTION.
Each goal or road is different and each of us is different. Some of us will start at the half-way mark on the road, some at the ¾ mark, and some at the very beginning. Each has his or her unique starting point. There is an old Chinese saying, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with but a single step.” And that applies to new sections of the road as well.
The quotation, “Anything worth doing is worth doing badly,” will be found in the Oxford book of quotations attributed to anonymous