Saturday, August 29, 2009

Thoughts on Excellence

Kilohana Men in the Duke Kahanamoku Race 2007 (hat tip to Kate Elliot. Thanks, Kate!). Watching this made me misty-eyed for two reasons. One, I've become a sap in my old age.[*] Two, it is a joy to see a thing done well, and with passion, because I believe in doing all things well, and with passion. This is why we admire athletes - who do a thing and do it well. This is why we admire all those who achieve excellence and pity those who have never reached for it in the entirety of their lives. To do a thing well, to strive to do that thing well - whether it is writing legal briefs, writing code, singing, dancing, stand-up comedy, playing basketball, or whatever it is that you consider worth doing - is an important part of the human experience, and may even be the quintessential human experience. What a marvel is humanity, when we do a thing and do it well.

[*] OK, it's more complex than that, but, I have.