Does Perfectionism Help?

Nothing better answers this question than the ancient adage:

[Imagine a rider fall off a horse that stumbles because it loses its shoe]

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the message was lost.
For want of a message the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

The moral is evident: Never undermine even a little, seemingly insignificant, nail.

However, we can put this proverb a bit differently to gain another valuable lesson:

[Imagine a farrier who refuses to shoe a horse because he can't find his perfect nail]

For want of a perfect nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the message was lost.
For want of a message the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a perfect horseshoe nail.

In this second version, the problem is not a want/lack of nails, but a non-acceptance of anything considered to be less than perfect. There are two problems with this form of want:

1. The Absolute Version: One may define "perfect" as the best of all or the most excellent of all, the ideal one. However, let's ask who determines which is the perfect nail? Again, is the shoe or the horse or the rider as perfect as this desire for the perfect nail?

2. The Relative Version: One may define "perfect" as that which best suits its object; in this case, the nail that best suits/fits the shoe. The farrier has the option of using other nails and achieve the same results; however, he refuses to compromise.

But, why should a helpful nail that is available at the right time be considered a substitute? A nail in need is a nail indeed.


PS:
Q. Is this being utilitarian in definitions?
A. Jesus, in His Parable of the Good Samaritan, defined a neighbor as not someone defined by society (i.e. caste-community-intrinsic definition) but someone who acts as a neighbor in time of need (function-intrinsic definition), even if he was unacceptable in the person's immediate society. Also, He called as His mother and brethren those who heard God's word and obeyed it (Luke 8:21)

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