enough, not enough

April 16, 2021  

Growing up in Israel we had an unusual grading system in school. It never occurred to me that it was unusual in any way but when I came to the USA people had trouble understanding our grades. The grades were; Not Enough, Enough, Almost Good, Good, Almost Very Good, and the best was...Very Good. Sounds strange.

If  you were to ask a student how he did in school, and he answered, "Almost Very Good", that might seem a bit strange.

Fast forward, the little boy has grown up, experienced the real world, experienced pain, death, illness, and violence. Seen the beauty of the world and the ugliness, the hate and the love, and the grades take on new meaning. The only true grade in life is "Not Enough", the grade of "Enough" is only for losers.

In our system the grade "Not Enough" means you have failed, it is an "F", while "Enough" means you have passed, not great, but a passing grade. Through life I have begun to see this differently. It is now reversed.

I see the pain in the world. Angels, known commonly as nurses, tend to their patients, with unending patience. Night and day they are there to listen, care, bring a pain killer, offer advice. There is no such concept as "we have done enough", it is never ending. 

Hospitals are built and maintained by generous donors who give their money so that others can be healed. Some have donated millions of dollars, but I have never heard of any that say, "I have done enough", never, the only true answer is, "We have not yet done enough, for there is still more illness, still more pain." In life there is never enough, only "Not Enough".

The Talmud teaches that it is not our obligation to "finish the task", as this might take several generations, but yet, "and you are not free to desist from it", meaning, you are not free of your obligation, there is no such grade as "Enough" in this lifetime.

So as Krav Maga instructors we never say; our techniques are good enough, we never say, we have taught enough students, we never say I have done my share, I have given enough. The only grade we have, our rank shall remain "Not Enough", until the lights go out, until the curtain comes down.

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