I've been told on numerous occasions that "Better is the enemy of good" (BITEOG). I know that such aphorisms are common: "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", "All you gotta do to win is score more points than the other guy". Stupid pithy sayings that put a cliche veneer on what could be fundamental truths. BITEOG means that if something is working good enough, why mess with it in an attempt to make it better. A very little background about myself: I'm 31. I'm an anesthesiologist. I'm married. I'm in love with Apple products and anything else that is beautifully sculpted from metal. My meltdown vis-a-vis BITEOG is that to my mind, better is in fact NOT the enemy of good. Rather, better is by definition BETTER than good! Even if we do something that is universally acknowledged as "good enough", does that excuse us of the responsibility to try and make it better? Could it be that perfection, while never attainable, is the only acceptable goal? What, if any, is our moral obligation to try and improve ourselves and all that we do?
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1/4/10 at 5:08pm