What is this blog about?

There is no such thing as an expert on the topic of Life. We all have had our battles, our suffering, and our questions. Despite the uniqueness of our personal obstacles, we have endured them. We have endured them well enough to advise those behind us as to how to do the same. I have done the research on your behalf regarding the multitude of reasons why wisdom exists. My mission is to utilize the voices of the world's greatest thinkers and heroes to compose a guideline of life's wisdom so that you don't have to experience those trials alone.

If you have any questions, please tweet them to me @JoeSielski or email me at JJSielskiJr@comcast.net

(Please title your email with the word "Wisdom" so I know it will be for this blog.)

I will do my best to try and answer every question as quickly and efficiently as possible. Thanks.

Friday, September 26, 2014

A Day without Perfection

Perfection is weird.  Perfection is imaginary.  Perfection is an opinion.  To some, perfection is the motivation.  To some, perfection is the goal.  But what is it, and is it good?

After frustrating myself, trying to draw a "perfect" Venn Diagram for a previous post,
( A Day to be You )
I decided to draw and photograph another circle:

you can see it's not entirely complete... or it might be misshapen, or not centered on the Post-It Note.... etc.

So I decided to draw another one,
then another one,
and another one.

Ok, great, what's the point?

They might all be circles, but are they all perfect?  Well, you tell me.
(I intentionally drew them all with a particular quirk, fyi.)

How do we determine what "perfect" is?  If we assume that the first one is not quite sufficient, then we consider the next one, and next one, and so on down the line.  We can consider as many as we can; we can consider as many as we might need.   If I were to layer them all on top of one another, the result might begin to resemble an ideal form.  Therefore, when we take that ideal form then compare it back to the individual circles themselves, their "imperfections" become glaringly obvious.

Once we consider how they are all similar and different, we can amass those similarities, discard those differences then extrapolate a perception of what should be deemed as ideal.   To construct that ideal form, we must discard those unique characteristics relevant to each individual one, then lovingly judge each one against our imaginary ideal circle.   (See what I did there?)

Which really means that the notion of perfection is an extrapolated ideal based upon a collection of discarded outlying characteristics.... that some might deem as "imperfections."

How does this affect how we perceive our world?   Are you the ideal or are you an outlying character?  We are constantly on the quest to find this mathematical construct called perfection.  Yet we forcefully ignore that even the most perfect rose is susceptible to disease and the rigors of time.

In many families, in many societies the idolatry of perfection is quite common.  There is a perception to some that we as humans must be perfect at all times and that errors are inexcusable.  In the opinions of many, we must all behave in a certain manner or adhere to a specific standard of attractiveness.   This causes us to judge ourselves; and that can result in feelings of guilt or shame. Females might not feel beautiful enough, men might not feel muscular enough, students might not feel smart enough.  We do this to ourselves and to each other.  This can provide a breeding ground for more judgment.  However, then comes that time to give that gift to yourself and accept that which cannot be changed.  In doing so, you learn to love yourself.  Now, this isn't a love that's a selfish and ego-driven flaunt, this is an appreciation and a humble confidence in all that you are.  If you have flaws, then you have flaws.  If you have made mistakes, then you have made them.  Forgiveness is the acceptance of the present reality.  All forgiveness is self-forgiveness.  This is what makes forgiveness amazing, just like you!

In conclusion, learn to embrace the broken circle, it's far closer to the actual realistic ideal than a mathematical reconfiguration of one.  You can find great joy and beauty in the characteristics that don't always align with the perceived ideal.   This is the ability to embrace the possibility that maybe, just maybe we aren't meant to be "the Ideal" as individuals... which is why we must learn to face our own humility and rely on one another. 

"May God break my heart so completely that the whole world falls in."  [Mother Teresa]

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