I grew up in Wisconsin and lived there most of my life. As you might already know, Wisconsin is “America’s Dairyland” and it is known for its cheese (Colby, Kaukauna, and Land O’ Lakes, among others), milk, and butter. It’s a farming state with some industry and manufacturing thrown in for balance and because of that, farmers are heavily dependent upon the weather. These farmers have the weather and seasons down to a science. They know when to plant and when to harvest. Cows even know when it’s milking and feeding time.
When I lived in Wyoming, the ranchers were similarly dependent upon the weather as their Wisconsin brethren. They would look up at the sky and wonder what the day might hold, but pretty much had it down to a science. When to time calving, harvesting of wheat, and when to brand. They knew because most of them watched their fathers and grandfathers do it all way before they had their own children.
Kim watches the weather each night before heading to bed. She wants to know if it will be raining, or too cold, or too warm for her to run. There are times when she gets up only to come back to bed grumbling that, “The weatherman got it wrong again!”
There is a common joke about weathermen.
People will laughingly state that they wish to have a weatherman’s job, because it seems they get the weather wrong about fifty percent of the time and yet still get to keep their job.
A baseball player is kind of like a weatherman.
In 2013, Dee Gordon of Miami led the majors with a .386 batting average. In 2014, Jose Altuve of Houston led the league with a .341 average.
Gang, I know I’m not a mathematician, but those averages mean that the batter who led the major league hits the ball only one-third of the time. The other two-thirds of the time, the batter makes an out.
And yet, if a major leaguer is hitting .300 that is quite the achievement! It’s celebrated! If the batter does that on a routine basis year to year, he’ll end up in the hall of fame, which is the pinnacle of the major leagues. The Mt. Olympus of Major League Baseball, if you will.
But if a weatherman is wrong some of the time, and if a major league batting champ only hits the ball one in every three at bats, what does that say about Perfection?
Got me thinking . . .
You know, we’re human. We take chances and we make mistakes. We say things that we’d rather not have said. We do things that are embarrassing to ourselves and others, perhaps even mean. We fall down. Sometimes, we give up. We might set a goal, but never quite make it or just barely reach it or perhaps fail miserably.
Human beings are seldom perfect. Seldom if ever perfect.
And while I subscribe to the idea and ideal of Perfection, always in the back of my mind is effort. I believe that effort supersedes and is more important than Perfection. I believe it is the willingness to try, to strive, to struggle and overcome that means so much more than Perfection. Because ultimately, while Perfection might not ever be achieved, effort is always present if one pursues Perfection. And while it is wonderful to achieve Perfection . . . should that actually ever happen . . . the real celebration should be of the effort that goes into the pursuit of Perfection. What should be celebrated is the effort that goes into living one’s life. Now that’s something to celebrate! Something to think about . . .
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