Perfection December 19, 2017

Little things perfection make, but perfection is no little thing.

Graham Bryce, 1928-2017.

December in the Gregorian calendar, and especially in the period leading up Christmas, is often a time for reflection and review.  For many people I know, myself included, the year has been challenging and it seemed that often world events, in a strangely synchronistic way, mirrored the discord and discontent present in many of the lives which touched mine.

On Tuesday, during the week which led up to Christmas, the father of a dear and close friend of mine died.  Although I never had the opportunity of meeting him in person, I nonetheless gleaned aspects of his life through the eyes of his son, my friend Robert.  Robert’s father was fondly known, amongst other things, for pearls of wisdom, one of which is quoted above, “Little things perfection make, but perfection is no little thing”.

Whenever Robert mentioned this in conversation, I would ponder on it because it would turn me inward, on which occasions I would contrast it with my efforts to work upon myself.  As I sat in the funeral service, which took place in the first week of the New Year, I read through the Order of Service.  Something made me turn the booklet over and on the back page was written, Little things perfection make but perfection is no little thing.

I sat reflecting on the year that had gone and the times during which when I felt that I wasn’t working on myself.  Pressures and worries from external life intruded and were a distraction but then, little by little, I remembered, I observed, I non-identified.  I thought about something I had written may years ago; When we die and pass into the spiritual universe our external knowledge disappears; it is our being which grants us entry into a particular spiritual society or community.  And then I saw the relationship between effort and being, which was encompassed in the words spoken by Robert’s father.

It can seem that our efforts are little, but then the aim is indeed, no little thing.



Michele T Knight Written by:

Dr Michele Knight is a Social Worker, Social Scientist, researcher and independent scholar. Her interest and research in the end-of-life has its origin in the lived experiences of her own bereavements, her near-death and shared-death events, the returning deceased and attitudinal responses to those experiences. Since 2006, she has been extensively involved in community development, support and advocacy in both a professional and community services/voluntary capacity in the areas of bereavement and grief, hospital pastoral care, and academic lecturing/tutoring. Her PhD, Ways of Being: The alchemy of bereavement and communique, explores the lived experience of bereavement, grief, spirituality and unsought encounters with the returning deceased.

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