Tuesday, June 22, 2010

the best

The doctor I visited yesterday was pristine in carriage and raiment -- a man who knew his stuff and dressed in the easy-going comfort of the well-to-do. And as he outlined various courses of action as related to an irregular heart, it occurred to me that he was probably one of the best local cardiologists.

Which made me think about seeking out the 'best' of things and people. Who wouldn't like to find the best auto mechanic or the best educator or the best partner or the best ... pick a noun? By picking the best, we stand to gain more, so we set out looking for the best.

But the 'best' carries with it a real danger, one that is demonstrated over and over again in life, I think. People who are the best at something may actually be the best, but if they think they are the best, then they have no clue about what being the best might mean. "The best?" -- isn't there only what anyone does?

So seeking out the best invariably turns back in on itself, demanding the best from that which, if it were the best, could have no inkling of anything as mundane as 'the best.'

When it came to the particular cardiologist I was seeing, I thought how good he might be at his job and yet sensed in his presence that it might be better to find another doctor, someone less 'best' and more committed.

You can learn a lot from the 'best.'

Or maybe I was all wet.

1 comment:

  1. Hmm; I have been referred to as the "best" by my friends, associates, and even my family in various fields, and I will often describe myself as such in those contexts, despite the fact that no such animal exists.

    In a human environment, labels are unavoidable. The key is in the interpretation.