"Fret not, my son. None of us is perfect.
It is better to have crooked legs than a crooked spirit.
We can only do the best we can with what we have.
That, after all, is the measure of success: what we do with what we have.”
This quote is taken from The Door in the Wall, a Newberry Medal winner published in 1949. I can tell you nothing about this book other than this quote. For reasons I cannot explain, I hand wrote these words in my best sixteen year old calligraphy and affixed them to my wall. There they remained throughout my high school and college years. Why?
Perhaps a childhood of living with my elderly grandparents. Perhaps because I had a close friend whose mother was a visually impaired dynamo and inspirational human. Perhaps because her daughter, my friend, was already grappling with her own early vision loss. Perhaps because due to recent volunteer work with people with disabilities. The why makes no matter, really.
The words have been lodged in my head since then and from time to time, they bubble up. This morning when I woke for this inaugural day of our Resiliency 2018 trip, they were repeating in an endless loop. Sitting in forced stillness on the plane, my conscious mind has caught up with my subconscious and it is clear to me—these lines are the whole point of this trip.
Doing the best we can with what we have. Expanding our limits while respecting our limitations. I doubt that we will accomplish much that is grand over the upcoming months, but that will is not the measure of success. We will be kind. We will smile at strangers. We will help when we can. That will be our measure of success.
…what we do with what we have.