Edgar A. Guest
My son, beware of "good enough,"
It isn't made of sterling stuff;
It's something any man can do,
It marks the many from the few,
It has not merit to the eye,
It's something any man can buy,
It's name is but a sham and bluff,
For it is never "good enough."
With "good enough" the shirkers stop
In every factory and shop;
With "good enough" the failures rest
And lose to men who give their best;
With "good enough" the car breaks down
And men fall short of high renown.
My son, remember and be wise
In "good enough" disaster lies.
With "good enough" have ships been wrecked,
The forward march of armies checked,
Great buildings burned and fortunes lost;
Nor can the world compute the cost
In life and money it has paid
Because at "good enough" men stayed.
Who stops at "good enough" shall find
Success has left him far behind.
There is no "good enough" that's short
Of what you can do and ought.
The flaw which may escape the eye
And temporarily get by,
Shall weaken under the strain
And wreck the ship or car or train.
For this is true of men and stuff—
Only the best is "good enough."
Collected Verse of Edgar Guest
Cutchogue, NY: Buccaneer Books, 1976, 465