Chapter 4. The Fourth Commandment: Do Not Pursue Perfection

Neither neglect the imperfect nor expend yourself on futile pursuit of perfection, while failing to make the most of less perfect circumstances.

You know that life isn't perfect. This awareness is rooted in your spiritual nature. It is only within the most abstract part of your being that you can conceive of an ultimate perfection for which part of us constantly yearns. There is nothing wrong with that yearning so long as you never allow it to paralyze you. Stay aware of perfection, but never allow it to sideline you to the spectator stands in the game of life and business. Which of the choices do you like less?

Life often boils down to being able to function within less-than-ideal circumstances. Take, for instance, the constant criticisms of business and of the entire socioeconomic system in which you operate. Does it function perfectly for all people all the time? No, of course, it does not. I would wager that there have been many times that you have felt that you did not receive the rewards you deserved. I know that I have felt this. Slightly less enthusiastically, I have also been compelled to acknowledge that on many occasions I have enjoyed rewards that I did not deserve. The system is not perfect; everyone agrees on that. Judaism teaches that people should operate as best they can within the imperfection because idealistic perfection is unattainable by human beings. Once I recognize that fallible human beings can never ...

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