The Prompt: Confucius said, “To go beyond is as wrong as to fall short.” Do you agree?
Setting aside my previous discourse on quotes without context, I’m going to give this a good faith try.
I’m reminded of doing the long jump in high school track – you need to hit your mark. Or playing minigolf and putting past the cup. OH so frustrating.
It’s hard to learn how to have the right touch. I can be very enthusiastic when trying something new and go waaaayyy beyond what is necessary or desirable. I often come up with these elaborate contests and giveaways that don’t work. The prizes are “cool” but I make it too complicated. My intentions are good and fortunately no one is hurt, but it is something I have to resist.
Another context where I think this applies is an apology. It can be a problem when someone doesn’t say enough. “I’m sorry you are offended” is not an apology at all so much as an expression of your own point of view. However, a long overexplanation chronicling what led you to the moment of offense is equally off the mark. Our society is not skilled at apologies because we are taught to focus on ourselves and not very adept at taking responsibility. Lots of words can be as empty as that off-putting non-apology.
My final thought is that this also relevant to time. Falling short is being stuck in the past while going beyond can create expectations and distract us from our current lives with daydreams. Finding the right place to be requires a concerted effort, not a brute force no-prisoners explosion of strength or stamina or energy or enthusiasm.
If you’ve read Catching Fire from the Hunger Games trilogy, perhaps you’ll understand this image and why its relevant to this thought.