“Have no fear of perfection. You’ll never reach it.” Salvador Dali
I love imperfections and, thankfully, I’ve never met anyone who was perfect. In fact, I’m pretty sure there is no such thing as a perfect human being; the two are mutually exclusive. Not because I believe in the existence of a divine force which embodies perfection and therefore humans are necessarily inferior. But because nature itself does not seem to care about it.
I’m not going to talk about physical perfection because it’s useless. It’s human nature to compare with others and never be happy with that birth mark we have under the chin. The grass is always greener on the other side.
Let me just say this. Life on earth has been evolving for millennia by adapting to an ever-changing environment. Instead of swimming, some creatures started walking. I bet these creatures were considered imperfect by those swimmers! I bet they thought if you cannot swim perfectly and have to leave the water and walk a little it’s problematic. Who’s laughing now?
Now, I know my example is simplistic and hardly scientific (it’s an imperfect example), but the point I’m trying to make is that imperfections, as we like to call them – a mental disability, a physical imperfection, a character flaw – make us unique and endear us to our other fellow, non-perfect human beings. It may also be a way of evolving.
How can you empathize with other people’s suffering and problems if you’ve never been wrong, if you’ve never made any mistakes? Acknowledging your weaknesses allows you to work on them and develop, to understand the world (people) around you.
My Eureka moment when I meet someone new, is when I can finally relate: To a common fear, a problem, an experience, when I finally discover their imperfections, their Achilles heel. I never trust those who appear perfect at first glance – appear being the operative word. My humble experience in life tells me they are often the ones who have the biggest issues. They are intolerant and arrogant, trying too hard to pretend everything is fine and that they’ve figured it all out.
Here’s another thought: If we were perfect, none of us would be writing. We wouldn’t have anything to say. No fears, no hopes, no thoughts, no opinions, no vanities, no questions, no need to reach out to others. Everything would have been resolved. We would all agree on the perfect character, the perfect way to live and that would be it. Why leave comments? Why blog?
Imperfection in food: I was once presented with an over boiled plate of pasta. But that pasta was cooked by a guy who liked me and didn’t know much about cooking in the first place. He made it just to please me. I was charmed and ate the whole plate.
Imperfection in looks: Body or face marks tell a person’s life. I’ve always cherished body marks on loved ones.
Imperfection in character: Once I know a person’s flaws, I finally feel closer to them, probably because I can relate. I wouldn’t change that for the world.
Imperfections in me: Plenty to go around, but my friends still talk to me.
So I agree with the wacky Spanish painter 100% and take it a step further. We are meant to be, look and behave just as we do. Our imperfect humanity is what pushes us to explore, to search for new ideas, different ways of seeing this magnificent world. In the grand scheme of things, all that matters is that you live your life to the fullest and with those you love. And that is perfect.