In a story about a 6.6 aftershock earthquake in Chile today, the Associated Press used both the these phrases, though not in tandem: "a few kilometers (miles) north" and "ravaged a 700-kilometer (435-mile) stretch."
Americans have not gotten the hang of the metric system used in much of the rest of the world. It's miles and feet and inches in the good ole U.S. of A. And AP caters to that market ... the Amurcan market. OK.
But as I read the story about the aftershock that hit in the wake of an 8.8 temblor that struck the region six days ago, I wondered what the excuse might be for using contradictory references to kilometers and/or miles. Why reference it at all if you can't get it right? Doesn't that just make you look stupid? Google offers some conversion (meters/feet, grams/ounces, etc.) tables that even a coke addict could use.
Maybe the stupidity of consuming Amurcans came into play. Perhaps the need to maximize profits by cutting staff and/or hiring cheaper/dumber staff played a role. Or maybe a la the internet, it was just "good enough." Close enough for folk singing.
But jumping AP's bones is not so much the point here. What interests me is the extent to which anyone might find something "good enough" or "close enough."
"Good enough" or "close enough" for what? "Good enough" to set aside, good enough to ignore, good enough to take as an assumption, good enough to take as a premise, good enough to stop investigating or questioning.
How many things in anyone's life are "good enough?" And what is the effect when the things that are "good enough" begin to pile up? Never perfect, never right on the gnat's ass, never complete? Isn't there a sense of compromise and loss and perhaps longing?
I'm a Buddhist ... close enough. I'm a Christian ... close enough. I love chocolate ... close enough. Two plus two equals five...close enough. Etc.
When do things become 100%? When does "close enough" stop being close enough? When does anyone draw the line and say, "not this time. This time I'm going the distance. This time I'm going to stop acting as if my life were a game of horse shoes and "close enough" was good for a few, but not all the, points?"
Spiritual endeavor, for those inclined, is a good realm in which to go the distance. If belief is good enough for some, is it good enough for you? If veneration is enough for some, is it good enough for you? If hope is held high as good enough for some, what do you say? ... and is that what you really say?
It's something to consider, I think. And something to make a decision about. In what way does anyone want to stop playing the good-enough card? How about "perfect" or "complete" for once?
How nifty might that be?