Perfection | Star Date 2011.0307
Today I had a friend share with me his concerns about not being able to be with his family during a difficult time for them. His question, “is it normal to feel almost guilty if you can’t be there?”
My response to him was, “I think we try too hard to be perfect at everything. We’re not superheroes. We’re humans. We can’t be everywhere; we can’t do everything right. But, we can be there for each other–whether physically present or not. We can try to do the right thing–whether we succeed or not.” I went on to add, “You can’t do it all. And you can’t feel guilty for not being able to do so.”
I think that our expectations about ourselves have changed. In a world of technology that begets perfection, we try to hold ourselves to the same standards. But how can we? Isn’t that what makes us who we are? Our imperfections make us unique. They make us human beings. If we were all perfect, then there’d be no room for individuality–and that’s what defines us. Not our perfect attendance records, test scores, responses, work product, habits and choices. We are each special because we are not all 100%, A+, 4.0, exceeding expectations.
No. We are good people because our actions demonstrate that we strive to be good. We are supportive of one another because we show our sympathy and compassion. We are fair and equitable because we are able to forgive one another. We are perfect because we are imperfect.
“Sometimes we do a thing in order to find out the reason for it. Sometimes our actions are questions not answers.”
-John Le Carre, Magnus Pym in A Perfect Spy
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