Perfection Is Only In Heaven

 

We are bombarded by constant promotions of “perfection” every day. Whether it’s radio, TV, billboards, etc. We are pitched and primed to buy the perfect product for our every want and need.

 

Take health issues for example. Products for diabetes, bladder issues, heart, brain, even catheters… Then there is need for perfection in the daily life. We are told this is the perfect bed, vacuum cleaner, suitcase, diet, pillow, underwear, toothbrush. Need I go on?

 

I know we live in a capitalist economy and promises of the “greatest” will undoubtedly be made. But my bone with which to pick is about this concept of perfection. There’s part of me when I hear and see these commercials, that I allow them to make me feel bad for just a while. I could try them out, have them shipped to me and then go through the mess of having to return. Or end up storing it and let it take up more space.

 

Am I missing out on something that will transform my life into perfection? What if we inspired others and ourselves to accept a “perfectly imperfect” mindset?

 

Even more annoying is the idea of perfection itself. Advertisers do not subscribe to the adage, “perfection is in heaven.” Consider this idea, “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” Advertisers know this and they tell us how to think and therefore buy.

 

Where does that leave us? If we have a work ethic, there is little room for imperfection. After all, whatever we undertake—especially our interests—we want to do our best. But we don’t all have to be the best.

 

Think of the first book in the Bible, Genesis. Caution: I’m going to use he/she for God. The book starts with, “In the beginning…” when God creates all the basics—sun, water, land animals and us. After every creation,  he says “and saw that it was GOOD.” Not perfect, not great, not stupendous, just good, or if I may edit Genesis, also “well.”

 

I would even edit the phrase, “practice is perfect.” How about practice is competent? I don’t think I’ve used the word “perfect” with my children. I continue to say, “good job.” or “I’m proud of you.” 

 

I am not referring to highly technical issues that affect many people. If it’s surgery, you hope the doctor does a perfect job. Hopefully recovery is “good.”

 

Check out Leonard Cohen’s lyric, “Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”

 

Sadly, when it comes to how we look, the perfection that we are sold is an illusion. It is focused on outer appearance, for both men and women. We can never look air brushed all the time. Nor should that be our goal.

 

Another problem with perfectionists is while some are very organized and exquisitely attentive to details, they expect this behavior from others. I have worked with and for Type A perfectionists and I was miserable. Not that I didn’t try. There was so much I could learn but for that supervisor who must control everything, it took too much out of me to constantly please them.

 

There are also braggarts out there. They boast that they have brilliant children, that they never argue in their marriage, and that they are quite “well to do.” Bragging really does imply insecurity. If they talk about it, it will enhance how they feel and they will impress others. This is not what I call perfection.

 

I hope you feel inspired to be perfectly imperfect. Inspire others to accept what makes them special and unique. We don’t all need to fit into society’s status quo.

 

Lastly, think of nature as very informative. For example, I love looking at trees. While they are magnificent, especially in the fall, they are asymmetrical. Perfectly imperfect! I’d like to conclude with my poem, called “See the Best.”

 

“Tangled leaves and branches

the maze reflects the sun.

Squirrels navigate the density,

in an impish dance of fun.

Can be seen as complicated.

Yet view the robin’s nest.

Elaborately created

Why not see the best?”

 

Beth

Beth grew up in Camden, New Jersey and majored in Education and History at Rutgers University and later obtained a Masters in Family Therapy at Drexel University. She’s married to her husband of 41 years with two young adult children—a daughter and son—who both work in NYC. She loves movies, Netflix, books, history, linguistics and exploring the human condition. From her extensive background, she’s accumulated many stories and lessons and looks forward to shaping the conversation.