On vacation I finally plowed through a book on the maturing of the mind. The author claims that we don’t reach full adulthood until some time in our thirties. One of the characteristics he sites for the fully mature mind is taking relationships at face value. I finally realized that he meant the same thing I do when I say that good is better than best.
When we are single we may be talking to one person at a social event while we keep an eye out for someone who seems better, hoping we will find The Best and that Best will be attracted to us. We can’t appreciate the present because we are always looking for something better.
While I appreciate the enthusiasm of someone who proclaims “This is The Best!” I have problems with it when that is stated so often. Unless we know all things we really can’t declare anything the best. We ascribe omniscience to God. We are actually stating that something is the best in our experience.
My greater problem, however, with The Best is that it tends to devalue everything or everyone else. By extension, anyone who disagrees with our evaluation of The Best is somehow deficient. A discussion about the qualities of The Best becomes defensive or combative.
Certainly, we should hold high standards for performances and character. We want to do the best we can. We want to be as patient, kind, loving, etc., as we can be. We can do this without worry about being judged. We are encouraged to be good, not the best.
When we accept this about ourselves, we can accept others in the same way. We can take our relationships at face value. They can be good or bad, what we want or not, but we don’t have to make comparisons. After all, in Genesis, God declared all that was made “good”, not “The Best”.