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Old Excellence v. New Challenges

11 Mar

Still unpacking. Still realizing how much junk I own, even after The Strip-Down. Found a little wooden box filled with “treasures” from childhood and high school, including a coach’s whistle (I was more enthusiastic than athletic), a pair of never-used earplugs, a knife, a collection of academic achievement pins.

It’s tempting to relax one’s guard, to lean back on past achievements and stop striving.

Yeah, so I was a smart kid. What have I done that’s intelligent since then?

Have I stopped educating myself? Or do I still seek to expand my mind?

Several months ago, when The Strip-Down began, I found writing from elementary school and junior high. Some of it blew me away — “That’s good. Did I write that?” — and some of it was so terrible I was embarrassed — “Dang. I wrote that.”

What’s worse, there’s more shamefully bad writing from my twenties and thirties.

Now, I could toss all the bad stuff and keep only the good, but then I might forget, and start to think everything I write is wonderful and never in need of revising.

But a wise man knows the quest for excellence is never-ending.

High school and good grades are long past. I’ve learned and experienced and won so many other things since then that the old accolades are moot. There are new mountains to climb.

So the childhood treasures have been thinned, and the academic achievement pins, while nice, are in a donation bin. Perhaps someone will find a use for them.

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