About this blogger:
Ronda Chervin received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Fordham University and an MA in Religious Studies from Notre Dame Apostolic Institute. A widow, mother, and grandmother, she currently teaches philosophy at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. Write to her at chervinronda@gmail.com.
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“If I could only make the faithful sing the Kyrie, the Gloria, the Credo, the Sanctus, and the Agnus Dei…that would be to me the finest triumph sacred music could have, for it is in really taking part in the liturgy that the faithful will preserve their devotion. I would take the Tantum Ergo, the Te Deum, and the Litanies sung by the people over any piece of polyphony.”
— Giuseppe Cardinal Sarto, Letter to Msgr. Callegari (1897)

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"Anything worth doing, is worth doing badly" G.K. Chesterton
published 23 February 2011 by Dr. Ronda Chervin

It was the year 1965. I was desperately trying to make the adjustment from full time philosophy graduate student to full-time mother of twins. I asked my great intellectual mentor, Dietrich Von Hildebrand, how I could deal better with not concepts but diapers. “What’s a diaper?” he asked. Of course he knew what a diaper was in German but had never heard the word in English.

Help came with happening upon the above line from G.K. Chesterton: “Anything worth doing is worth doing badly.” Bingo! Of course, raising babies is so important that its good to do it even if I can’t earn an A, a B, or even a C at it.

A related favorite a quotation is that the perfect is the enemy of the good. I looked all over to find the author of this adage. No, it was not in Scripture, or in Shakespeare, but from General Sherman! In case you’re sure exactly what it means since, after all, Jesus says “Be ye perfect,” it is designed to help perfectionists do something good rather than nothing at all since you may reason that if you can’t do something perfectly, why even do it?

An application in my case is that in my generation in Catholic schools most English teachers insisted on perfect grammar and spelling. This led some talented writers to produce nothing after they stopped writing compositions for school because, “if it wasn’t perfect, why write it?” But, I, an atheist going to public schools as a child, before my conversion, was taught by progressive teachers who stressed self-expression. I have been expressing myself ever since. I leave the perfecting to the editors at the publishing houses. I presume that God helps me every time since people say they get a lot out of reading my stuff.

Now even though these adages don’t work at all for creating music or performing it, for more ordinary activities it could work. Consider doing such ordinary worthwhile things badly and not letting the perfect get in the way of the good. Try it, you’ll like it!

Dr. Ronda has many free e-books and audios on her website rondachervin.com. If you go to her website and read or listen and then want to correspond with her she will be available. Her schedule does not permit, however, responding to comments on the Blog, though she enjoys reading them.