I never really understood this quote before. I don’t think I truly grasped how the words could be translated into my own life. I have come to the understanding, thanks to Jay Smooth, that being good is not a binary concept — perfection, however, is. When you hold yourself to a standard of being that allows for no deviation from a strict right/wrong, good/bad framework you don’t leave room for growth. Being a perfectly good person means that you know how to be good in every situation and that you actually do those things. Being good takes practice. As Jay Smooth stated, just because you are a clean person doesn’t mean you never have to shower. Being clean takes work. So does anything you want to get better at. Being good is no exception. So, now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can practice being good.
East of Eden, by the talented John Steinbeck, is my favourite book. Now that I feel I understand this quote in relation to my life I have come to love Steinbeck even more. He takes the words and ideas that weren’t even fully formed in my mind and puts them onto paper, weaving them into complicated stories that continue to teach beyond the last page of the book. I could add in many quotes that speak to me from Steinbeck’s work, but I think it would be best to read them for yourself, find the parts that resonate with you, and think beyond the end of the book about how people are all looking for something similar. A man from the US born in 1902 has taught me many things about life, people, and myself. Meeting Steinbeck was never a possibility but I feel like I have met him many times over.