Opinion: Imperfect claims


If we believe that 100 percent of our team is 100 percent committed and not one person ever puts their own interest first, why would we ever need to improve? What would be the point in pursuing something beyond ideal? Lucky us.

But how could we know the effort of another? We can observe their actions but not know their depth of capacity. We can see water coming from the well but not claim whether it could supply a great city or only support a small village. Few admit to delivering less than everything. Still, if we are entirely honest, do not some tasks engender greater commitment than others? And don’t we know many who might sandbag a bit?

When we claim ourselves or our team to be selfless heroes without peer, are we in the midst of the fabled titans? Are we guilty of a bit sales puffery, or are we indulging in full-fledged self-deceit? Are we the greatest of all time, every day, at every hour? Or are we just good, imperfect, well-intentioned, occasionally self-interested folks? Can we reconcile our proper intentions with our ego’s need to claim accomplishment? Perhaps it is a defensiveness that comes from our own insecurity. Or is it hubris that reflects a delusional overconfidence? 

Perfect is a tough standard to meet. Yet we may be too thin-skinned to live with anything less than faultlessness in our firms and institutions, so we struggle to admit our flaws, clinging to the immediately evident prevarication that we are the ideal. Many good readers will reach out to decry what they find herein. Others will laud as insightful the very same words. Does this indicate that one is 100 percent right and the other 100 percent wrong, 50/50 or vice-versa? Is our very dignity bound by the impossible claim of perfection?