“If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.” G.K. Chesterton
Chesterton offered this pithy saying to defend generalists, hobbyists, and those people who perform tasks as non-professionals. In this quote he is speaking to all of us who have a calling or a role to perform, that we banish the thought of having to do everything perfectly. Ordinary men and women are called to do the most important things.
The American Chesterton Society explains the quote in this way:
But those are not the most important things in life. When it comes to writing one’s own love letters and blowing one’s own nose, “these things we want a man to do for himself, even if he does them badly.” This, argues Chesterton (in Orthodoxy) is “the democratic faith: that the most terribly important things must be left to ordinary men themselves – the mating of the sexes, the rearing of the young, the laws of the state.”
Parent, leader, writer, Christian – don’t give up because you see yourself as a failure. Do what you are called to do to the best of your ability and leave the results to God’s sovereign hand. Who knows what will become of a little leaf!