People say it all the time . . . That’s perfect!
- How’d the apple pie she made taste? It was perfect!
- Did you have a good time on the date? Everything went perfectly!
- Did you like that new restaurant? What a perfect place!
Not long ago, during a hospice team meeting, we reviewed a family’s struggle to care for a dying loved one. Since hospice isn’t present 24/7 in the home, we are on-call to answer questions from the patient’s caregivers . . . their sons, daughters, spouses, parents and friends. This particular family kept calling, early and often. They wanted to be sure medications were properly given. They were concerned when their loved seemed too drowsy or didn’t eat as much as expected. Several family members debated about giving too much or too little of a particular medication. None of their concerns, and none of their debates, created serious problems for the hospice patient; she likely never knew how many calls were made to clarify decisions.
Our hospice doctor listened to the nurses and social worker’s describe the family’s quest for doing everything right. At one point, the doctor said, “Isn’t there some catchphrase about ‘the perfect is not as good as the good’?” Then the doctor grinned. “No, that’s not quite it. Maybe it goes, ‘Good is better than perfect’ . . . no, that’s not it either . . .”
After giving up on recalling the exact words (the good doctor was far from perfect in his memory!), the hospice team continued to chat about how family’s feel when caring for a parent, grandparent, child, spouse or dear friend. Too often caregivers do seek the impossible . . . being perfect.
Later, I searched for the phrase the doctor stumbled over: The perfect is the enemy of the good. Read More →by