Going Through the Motions

Can we do things without really doing them?

I’m not trying to be abstract.  It’s a valid question.  Behind this question is another: Is good enough really good enough?

I believe that we can do something with so little conviction that the results are as bad as if we hadn’t done it at all.  Maybe even worse.

Take my gums, for instance.  At my latest dental checkup, the hygienist whined that my gums weren’t that great in a couple hard-to-reach areas.  When I described my oral care routine and asked what might have caused the problem, she replied that it might be my “flossing technique.”

After that, I paid attention.  It was true that there were some places where I jammed floss between my teeth but didn’t really work it around.  I was going through the motions of flossing, but it was lazy flossing.  And it wasn’t enough to keep my gums healthy.

I have never been a person who can get away with laziness or shortcuts.  If I don’t give my full effort, there are consequences.  Going through the motions, it seems, really isn’t enough.  I have to go “all in,” living life (and performing all its minutia, it seems, even flossing) with care and intention.

And if I’m punished by oral care lectures (or worse) when I fall short, conversely I’m richly rewarded when I do put forth the effort.  The lesson is clear: How we do things does matter.  Perhaps even more than what we do.


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