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November 23, 2017

Have a "C" Day

By Dr. Richard Boyum

We live in a world of great expectations. We surround ourselves with images and beauty, perfection and excellence. We use credit cards to get ahead, we mortgage our futures. We are often told to buy the biggest house we can. Yet, somehow when we surround ourselves with all these fixings of the good life we are somehow left with a hollow feeling. I certainly see this to be true and so have many of the people that I work with in our University Counseling Center. I have come to believe that this may be true in part, because we expect perfection or an A in every aspect of our lives, when in fact a grade of C is more appropriate. In our catalog C means making satisfactory progress.

Life has its ups and downs. This is particularly true in our intellectual lives, our emotional lives and in our interpersonal lives. If we can say that we have made satisfactory progress, we are saying a lot. It may be by lowering our expectations and being satisfied with satisfactory progress rather than excellence, we may feel fuller and more whole in how we experience our lives. Scotty Peck has said, "Life is difficult," and if this be the case and if we grade ourselves with discretion, a C is indeed a good grade. There is nothing wrong with passing, nothing wrong with getting by. In fact, for most of us, most of the time, it is quite admirable. In thinking these ways we may find ourselves having a bit more peace of mind.

If we can get beyond the illusions of a culture that tells us that we should never be satisfied, perhaps we can live more elegantly. My wish to you today is to make satisfactory progress in those aspects of your life which are important. Therefore I wish you a C day.