“Well, you know I appreciate that, but you also know it’s expected – that’s a given,” I responded chuckling in light of a somewhat serious scenario.
“Yeah, I know, I’m just looking for the best in a bad situation,” he answered with a nervous laugh.
“I hear you. I appreciate your honesty, but you know you are grasping in desperation and are holding the bar woefully low when you start with the words, ‘At least,’ don’t you?” I asked smiling.
“Yeah, that’s the bottom I guess, ‘At least’ says it all,” he chuckled as the mood lightened.
“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used those words myself,” I admitted.
I’d never really pondered the depths of those words, “At Least,” in my life until that very moment. All of life is about perspective and attitude. The more mature we get, which is eerily linked to the amount of years I’ve been wandering this dusty planet, at least in my neck of the rocks, the more we grasp that a higher standard is an honorable attitude and perspective.
The times we fail, and we all fail, with the bar set higher, says everything about who we are. Although I’ve used the pathetic words, “Good enough” in my life, I now cringe when I hear someone lean against them and set a bar too low. It sounds like a compromise of character.
I can’t recall how many times I heard the adage, “If it’s worth doing – it’s worth doing right,” as a youngster. Folks used to use that quote on kids that were slacking or taking short cuts… no wonder I heard it so often… Who we are in our heart is closer to us than our shadow. Who we are guides the actions that can be spotted in our lives and in our shadows as we conduct ourselves in the most basic of everyday scenarios.
None of us are perfect and our actions, and sometimes lack thereof, are the opposite of honorable, but giving in to the weakness of our flesh and surrendering it is a victory for the enemy and this world. Sometimes it feels like we’re fighting a losing battle in this world and striving for our best in all cases is of little value and has diminishing returns, but I think it’s just the opposite.
The words of Christ are ever present in us and are revealed in our actions, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” When I witness a person doing what they do with a good attitude and striving for their best, even while making mistakes, in any endeavor, I’m encouraged. It’s simple yet powerful honesty.
When a person does less than their best and justifies it in their mind and heart they’re lying to themselves, the worst kind of dishonesty their actions betray them… “At least” that’s my opinion…