Crooked Timbers

I am back home and back at the Big Unit computer to pass on this info this AM.  I will get the hang of the Little Unit (Kindle Fire) given some time.  OK, so a friend of my faithful dog Sture sent me an email yesterday with a link to a NYC article.  Very interesting both.  The article is very interesting and a emailing dog, where is Ed Sullivan when you need him?  We will have to investigate that at some future point.  Anyway, here is the link:


I just copied the top line and pasted it in the search line of Firefox and it got me there.  So if I can do it you can.  So, David Brooks in this article called “Rhapsody in Realism”  talks about the ideas of Lydia Netzer who wrote a book titled “Fifteen Ways to Stay Married for Fifteen Years”.   And here is one paragraph from the article that starts to explain her basic idea:

“But Netzer’s piece is nicely based on the premise that we are crooked timber. We are, to varying degrees, foolish, weak, and often just plain inexplicable — and always will be. As Kant put it: “Out of the crooked timber of humanity no straight thing was ever made.” ”

So, Brooks goes on to take the idea and apply it to life in general.  It is the idea that perfection as an idea is out, at least here in our lives on earth.  Heaven is another story and why it is so highly prized.  But back to earth, we need to all realize our and others shortcomings and not think that goals like perfection are anything else but goals, maybe short for preferred direction.  It is pretty arrogant to think that we can do more than approach such lofty ideas in our reality.  A quot pops into my head from a Jewish friend (good old Jewish wisdom) ” The perfect is the enemy of the good”.  I hope that that is a good approximation of it!  In other words we can stomp out so many good useful alternatives to problems searching for that final perfect one.  Yes?

I think that it was General Patton (WWII US Army General that lead the final thrust toward Berlin to bring organized Nazism to its knees.  He thought like a cavalry officer and borrowing another quote from Confederate cavalry officer Bedford Forrest, the cavalry’s job is to “get there the firstest with the mostest”.)  So, Patton said, “It is better to implement a good plan in a timely manner than a better plan late”.  I might have butchered it but heck it was good and done in a timely manner!  See how it works?





















One thought on “Crooked Timbers”

  1. I love how you tied this one all together, Phil. You have quite a gift. It just tickles me that the one time I read some NY Times articles, it was that article, which I also found quite fascinating. I thought to myself that I could use it in my blog, and yet I still (!) haven’t so I am living proof of a better plan late being what you want to avoid. Because for me, late turns into never pretty quickly.

Comments are closed.