At least once a month, Kim or one of the girls pulls out the DVD of Remember The Titans and we watch it together as a family. The most recent viewing was two nights ago. Kim made popcorn and we sat in our family room and watched it. We’ve watched the movie so many times, we can recite the dialogue along with the characters. At various parts in the movie, we laugh. We get annoyed, if not downright angry. We cheer. We tense up even though we know the outcome. We tear up. And in the end, we smile.
There is a scene when Coach Boone, played by Denzel Washington, tells his team that they are to Pursue Perfection. No fumbles. No missed blocks. No missed tackles. Perfection.
Quite the notion, Perfection.
I’ve coached high school and college basketball. I’ve watched my son and daughters play basketball, soccer and softball. Now it’s exclusively soccer, though both Emily and Hannah play Powder Puff football.
When I coached, I told my teams, my players, that basketball was a game of mistakes: the team that makes the least amount of mistakes is the team that usually wins.
It doesn’t matter what the sport is. A wrong pitch. An ill-timed error. A missed free throw. An interception. Blown coverage. It doesn’t matter what the sport is.
We see it in high school games. We see it in college games. We witness it in the pros. It’s a game of mistakes. Any game, every game, is a game of mistakes.
But knowing that shouldn’t prevent a team from The Pursuit Of Perfection. As Boone says in the movie, if we aim at Perfection, we might achieve excellence.
And that is the way of life, isn’t it?
We Pursue Perfection. And if we do, perhaps we can achieve excellence. And for those of us who really, really struggle, if we aim at Perfection, perhaps we might hit pretty good. Or on a bad day, we might hit okay.
But there is a risk in the Pursuit Of Perfection.
Sometimes in our effort, we might trample on others to be Perfect. In our effort, we might ignore the beauty that surrounds us, the love that embraces us, the help that is offered to us.
In our Pursuit Of Perfection, we run the risk of feeling down and defeated if we achieve less than Perfection. We run the risk of judging ourselves too harshly, not recognizing that we are, after all, human, and prone to making mistakes. That seldom, if ever, was there ever someone who was Perfect. In fact, I can only think of one individual who was Perfect, and He lost his temper with the money changers in the temple. In fact, the one individual who was Perfect was eventually whipped and crucified.
So . . .
Perhaps we can Pursue Perfection, but still enjoy the life we live. Perhaps we can Pursue Perfection, but still see the beauty around us, feel the love that embraces us, and every now and then, accept the help that is offered to us.
And perhaps, in our Pursuit Of Perfection, we can help others along the way as they, too, Pursue Perfection. And we can help each other recognize that we are all, each of us, only too human, only imperfect creatures, and in that realization, we can smile and nod and recognize that we, each of us, are really pretty good in spite of our lack of Perfection. That it’s okay to be pretty good. Even okay to be, okay. Something To Think About . . .