Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Thank God I'm Not Perfect

My entire college career I have earned straight A's. I find it almost mind-numbing to look at my transcript because the A's line up so perfectly. 

I believe that grades in school are a symptom of effort - when I put in the effort, I get an A. That simple. Sometimes that effort means camping out in the Math Tutoring Lab for days on end, or spending over 20 hours to write one English paper. But effort is effort, and I have always taken pride in my education as well as my grades.

Then, this semester blew all those notions out of the water. I devoted endless hours upon endless hours into two classes especially, and I would consistently get C's and even D's. Getting a "D" - after so many hours and hours of study and effort - just did not make sense. One day I walked into one of the professor's offices and I even cried in frustration. 

I kicked and I screamed for many long weeks.  

But by the end of this school semester, I surrendered. I realized that I cannot do more than my best. I know that I poured myself into school, and maybe it doesn't show up as another A in the long line, but I learned something even greater:

Do your best, Bhakti lata, do your best.   

My best is the real perfection. 

I must admit, I feel relieved now that the 4.0 has cracked. Of course, I will always strive for an A, because that is my best, but the real perfection is in the striving, not the letter. 

Isn't that how it is in spiritual life? We pour our life and soul into loving the Lord, loving His devotees, following the principles, etc. etc. etc. and it seems as though we're always getting C's and D's. 

And yet we must take solace in the truth of devotion: The real perfection is in the striving, not the letter. 

Below is a snapshot of only a portion of my transcript. You gotta admit, in contrast of all those angular A's, those last couple grades are kinda spicy. 

1 comment:

Divya-prema Devi dasi said...

I have been thinking of writing about this for a semester now- today I was talking to a friend of mine about exactly the content of this article- and I come home to read it- Such a sweet surprise... Thank You Bhakti for sharing these gems... and putting in the effort to pen down ur thoughts so beautifully... All Glories to you and your dedication!

To write is to dare the soul. So write.