There is no real beauty without some slight imperfection – James Salter
‘Perfectly Imperfect’ used to be my tagline on social media sites while I was a teen. I always believed that no one is perfect. And no one should assume that they are, or else they will be stuck in a rut and can never see or go beyond their ways. I am not trying to prove Kaizen’s management theory. But it is worth noting that one man’s perfection can be other man’s exasperation. Perfection is subjective and is constantly evolving. Everyone anticipates it differently yet society strives to define it as a specific quality. This is probably why white people go to tanning salons while brown people apply fairness creams. People keep chasing someone else’s concept of perfection. They fail to realize that beauty exists in their peculiarity.
I see many people obsessed with the idea of perfection. And they become too critical, rigid and anxious while chasing perfection. I don’t mean everything and everyone should be clueless and chaotic. The world certainly needs some structure to keep moving. However perfection becomes a hindrance when it overshadows everything else. The persistent quest for perfection – in relationships, profession and possessions often fosters rash judgments.
I think it is okay to be imperfect. It is even better to embrace these imperfections. Because it is these imperfections that makes you humane. In fact, it makes you likable. Seriously, who can like Miss/ Mr Perfect at everything ? It seems too good to be true. Isn’t it intimidating or may be even annoying when you see no flaw or no vulnerability in a person ?
Imperfections makes world real and relatable. Perhaps this is why the humble simple quilt by grandma or the scribbled greeting cards from children or the little clumsy frame from a friend, can turn into our dearest treasures. Because despite their imperfections, these objects become beacons of our humanity: our ability to feel, to empathize, to connect, to love. All of famous fictional characters, Iron Man, Dumbledore, Tyrion Lannister have some imperfections. And it is these imperfections that drive their motives, build their characters and carve their stories which everyone seem to like.
But when I look around me, I am appalled at the hyped expectation of being perfect. The fairness commercials & Indian TV series are the biggest culprit for this outcome. Portraying Miss Goody two shoes female lead who is always ‘Aadarsh’ & always right is antagonizing. This overtly perfect girl is expected to be sincere, hardworking, innocent, loyal, sacrificial and helpful under all circumstances. Why is there a pressure to showcase perfection to such an extent that it looks plain dull ? The world ain’t black and white. Why don’t we accept and embrace grey characters?
Even the Gods made mistakes. Lord Krishna was accused of being influential in Mahabharata. Lord Ram abandoned his wife because of societal norms. Lord Shiva beheaded his son unknowingly in anger. Ever wondered how these flaws represents the hidden strengths of these Lords ? Lord Krishna because of his manipulative and analytical ways can become a really good politician or strategist. Lord Ram, because of his strict adherence to law & order will always value equality and justice. Lord Shiva can make people take him seriously and can get things done faster because of his aggression.
I am not trying to promote their behavior, support their actions or defame any Gods. But the above example proves that within every weakness can be a hidden strength, waiting to be unraveled. May be they are the two sides of the same coin. There is a reason why we are asked to mention our weaknesses in the interview.
Bill Gates once said he will hire a lazy person to do a job, because that lazy person will find an easy way to do it. He found value where all of us would have found flaw.
We all have flaws. We are all trying to be better. We all make mistakes. We all seek redemption. And all of us are best in our own perfectly imperfect ways. So let go off the pressure of perfection & rejoice in the beauty of imperfection.