As youth, we were often reminded that if we accepted a task, we were to do it well and complete it . “Finish what you start! “However, that is not always the case in everything in life . Sometimes things just can’t be finished. They are what we often call “works in progress.”
For example, I worked in the same non-profit job for many years. Programs never really ended. They evolved or devolved, eventually just fading away. It was difficult to measure performance when there is no beginning-middle-and end. You could never say, “At the end of the day,…” That was the nature of that kind of work, but you moved forward with best practices and lessons learned.
Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans in August of 2005. When I took this photo in 2015, much had been done to help the city recover from the devastation caused by the flooding but sadly repairs to many homes remained unfinished, if they ever began. So many were just left behind.
The unfinished dilemma lies in knowing when you should finish what you start or accept that the effort is a work in progress. As a nation, I think we have a responsibility to the people of New Orleans and other areas hit by natural or man-made disasters to remedy the situation. We should not live in the Twitter, Instagram or sound bite world, moving on before the task is accomplished.
However, there are some of life’s works that should be appreciated for being unfinished. We can always grow intellectually, spiritually, and emotionally. It would be wrong to close the book on new ideas, new thought or friendships. Sometimes it is knowing that there is work still to be done, that keeps us going, a reason to get up in the morning.
So, live your life, weigh what can be done today, accept what will not be done today, and look forward to the challenge of tomorrow.