“If a job is worth doing, it is worth doing right!” I imagine most of us heard these words growing up. A phrase my father often used in teaching me to take pride in everything I undertook was, “good is the worst enemy of best.” Life lessons seem to be meted out like that at opportune and sometimes unpredictable, teachable moments. Often such exhortation would come as a consequence of only doing chores in a way I thought might pass off as “good enough.”
As a father myself, I have carried on the tradition of grabbing those teachable moments to pass along ancient wisdom, to encourage my children to work hard, to do their very best. But, like many other life lessons, striving for doing one’s best is a virtue that can only be caught and not merely taught. We must see it consistently modeled by trustworthy and caring examples before we are willing to accept such phrases as, “hard work brings its own rewards.”
As in a family, so it is in any organization and so it is in any community… like our own community of Vista. Important life lessons must be passed on (and caught) to counter the law of entropy, the natural tendency of any system to go from order to disorder. The failure to pass on these lessons will only result in another lesson: “those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat it.”
I think one of the best ways to fight the enemy of “good enough” in our community is found in our very name – VISTA! A Spanish word by origin (meaning view), in English it has come to mean (according to Webster), “a large and beautiful view of an area of land or water” and “a large number of things that may be possible in the future.” Now there is a name to live up to! Pick either one; I prefer both.
Try applying each definition to a Vision (“Vista”) Statement for the community. Does that inspire you as it does me? Does that help you see Vista in a new light? Does it make you want to work together to preserve and restore the natural beauty that is Vista? Does it make you want to invest in a vibrant, beautified downtown and surrounding neighborhoods? Does it make you want to invest your time and talents into the “large number of things that may be possible?” Does it make you want to say NO to the enemy of “good enough?”
Just how important is vision? A proverb in the Bible states that, “Where there is no vision, the people cast off restraint.” This is evident in some of the “children of good enough.” Like a “June Gloom” fog that gives no rain, but only blocks the “Vista,” these children embody apathy, fatalism, greed, self-seeking and self-aggrandizement, slander, laziness, envy, weariness, doing nothing, and telling oneself, “someone else will take care of it.”
These “children of good enough,” are not only NOT productive, they are destructive to families, organizations and communities, tearing down what others have built, perpetuating poverty, corruption, poor education, crime, over-regulation and other social ills.
Perhaps the best way to fight “good enough” is to work twice as hard; perhaps the best way to fight apathy is by caring twice as much; perhaps the best way to fight greed is to give twice as much. Sounds to me like we need some heroes, some Heroes of Vista! These would be men and women who are steadfast servant leaders with both vision and humility. They would have both passion and pride for the community. They would work with others, persevere, listen, seek first to understand rather than to be understood, look for ways to strengthen education and jobs in Vista, value families and promote virtue; in short, they would build and also dare to dream about the “large number of things that may be possible in the future.”
It’s a good thing we actually have real live Heroes of Vista!
Owner, Tory R. Walker Engineering
Chairman of the Board