Start With Where The World Is
by DW Green — June 9, 2021
Have you heard the expression “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good enough”? The idea is not to settle or compromise your standards, but rather not to become trapped by idealism.
The community organizer Saul Alinsky opens his book Rules for Radicals with a pragmatic but inspiring articulation of that idea:
“As an organizer I start from where the world is, as it is, not as I would like it to be. That we accept the world as it is does not in any sense weaken our desire to change it into what we believe it should be—it is necessary to begin where the world is if we are going to change it to what we think it should be.”
There is plenty you can do right now, today, that would make the world a better place. There are plenty of small steps that, were you to take them, would help move things forward. Don’t excuse yourself from doing them because the conditions aren’t right or because a better opportunity might come along soon. Do what you can, now. And when you’ve done it, keep it in perspective, don’t overblow the results. Shun both ego and excuse, before and after.
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