Wednesday, January 2, 2008
The Best Pixel
“Use what talent you possess - the woods would be very silent
if no birds sang except those that sang best.”
Henry Van Dyke
As those of you who know me reasonably well may have already guessed, I am not a perfectionist. I am, by nature, lazy, and I use my brain to come up with ways to do the absolute minimum work possible to get the job done. If this means duct tape and coat hangers, then duct tape and coat hangers it is.
One example of this is the way I provided power to our dishwasher in our home. Our kitchen is very small, and all the the electrical outlets were on the same circuit. Runing the dishwasher meant that no other appliances in the kitchen could be run at the same time. Also, none of the outlets were convenient.
So I fixed it the simple way--I just drilled a hole through the floor using a 1 inch spade bit and shoved an orange extension cord through to a basement power supply. The dishwasher is now run off a seperate circuit, and all is right in my little world as I don't have to figure out the mysteries of sophistcated electrical wiring.
Nevertheless, there is something about the human/avatar ego within me that still wants to be "the best" from time to time. I may be lazy, but I am also competetive. When I write something to submit for a writing contest, I want it to be "the best" entry. Otherwise why bother? Same with my paintings, I suspect. I look at works of art so far beyond me that, again, I wonder why should I even try? And then my laziness grabs me and then the answer becomes simple. I don't try.
The fact that I'm not the best in my community chorus doesn't seem to bother me however. I am just now getting to the point where I can sight read a little, and I've heard other voices among me that put mine to shame. I am fully aware that I will never be the best singer, but somehow that doesn't matter very much. I'm just there to have fun and to tone what little laughable talent I have to become a little better each year.
Life isn't a contest where only the best may qualify. It is a more like a digital movie screen, where each pixel in itself can't be aware of it's overall importance to the show. My monitor has one pixel which is defective--it essentially isn't there. It is amazing how noticible the absense of this single pixel is. It would not be "the best" pixel should it miraculously fix itself, but it would be a welcome addition to the overall picture.
Each of us is more important than that single pixel. Imagine what we leave out when we don't try just because we can't be "the best."
The lesson here is that we shouldn't worry about being the best pixel in this new year. Just make the effort to "be." This is a lesson that I must work very hard at myself. But as resolutions go, it is a simple one. It appeals to the lazy part of me.
Be well my friends. And special hugs to any who want or need them.