Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Looking for the Good

People aren't perfect.  Of that much we can be certain.  Try as they will, it is impossible, in this life anyway, to obtain the pinnacle of perfection.  And, how does one even define perfection?  Is there a single, overarching definition that works for everyone?  Or, is perfection relative, a subjective judgment by either the person himself or an outside observer?  Who makes that decision, that judgment?

Both my career and my volunteer work involve working with the public.  That makes things very complicated. Each individual person has his or her own opinions on  what is important and how things should be done.  In the end, someone needs to decide, making the choices about policies, in order to move things forward.  In my job, that person is me.   As administrator of the program, I make the final call.  The buck stops on my desk.

In order to make well-informed decisions, I make the effort to consult with my co-workers as well as my constituency, the families enrolled in my program. It becomes difficult to sort through the various expectations, hopes, visions, and, yes, opinions, of those with whom I consult.  Usually a wide range of thought exists on any particular idea or project.  Bringing people to consensus, rallying people in support of the decision, becomes difficult.   In any given situation, about half of the people are truly happy with the decision being made.

Sometimes this situation tests both my resolve and my satisfaction of a job well done.  I might second guess the decision, not because it was made in error, but because of pressure from the dissenting faction.  There are times when their point is well taken.  But, due to circumstances, the best decision may not be the most popular.  It is during those times that I might be more apt to be close minded, perhaps even tending toward anger or judgment of those around me.  But, when I take the time to listen, and look for the good in each person I meet, I can more confidently move in the right direction.

People aren't perfect, but they are very good.  We are all just trying our best, working toward the perfection that is impossible to reach.  Looking for the good in others makes it easier for all of us.


Lin said...

Can you ever truly win? Can you please everyone? No way! God bless you for trying anyway. I think most people (me included) grumble out of routine, especially if it involves their participation. I even grumble when Frank gives us assignment. I guess it is just a reaction.

Keep going, Diane. I'm sure you are doing what is best, using the info you have at hand. You are so very level-headed and think clearly from what I see. Ignore the haters. :)

butterfly woman said...

I am glad you have the outlet of writing. Like other creative venues like painting and playing music, it is a quiet pursuit (and outlet) of your own self and emotions. I hope it gives you a little peace after dealing with the public all day (which can be both rewarding and draining).I was reading about doing art and how imperfection is an essential ingredient. Also, "to demand perfection is to deny your ordinary (and universal humanity)..."Just to be yourself, something I continually aim for. Thanks for reminding me about this.