Renouncing perfection

Perfection : the state or quality of being perfect. The action or process of improving something until it is faultless.

It’s funny how we feed our children idealized visions of our world. Where there is a dichotomous good or bad, either you eat your broccoli and are ‘good’ or stuff it in your diaper and are ‘bad’. If you do enough good acts you’ll be a perfect little angel.

But we miss the point, and I surely have over my short lifetime. I guess coming of age happens at different times for different people, but a pursuit of ideals, perpetuated in Western society and in the domestic, is a reductive and oppressive way of living. The state of perfection is in itself one of philosophical contention, yet the action of improving something until it is faultless is absolutely obscene.

I, like most human beings, am riddled with insecurities- these revolve around some limitation of my being where I am at fault and unable to realize my individual perception of ‘perfection’. However perhaps the largest fault in the human condition is that of perception itself. We have limited scope to see beyond our own spheres, and can only grasp fragments of the true nature of reality, through porous layers of scientific development, or of the matrix of psychology through art ( modernism deals with this head on), or faith .

Surely this complexity is inundating, and the road map of an individuals life in all its insignificance, is swamping.

This is where perfection fails us, as we see wrongs to right, problems to solve- most of which are out of our hands. Its when we, unknowingly, adopt a perfectionist lens that life becomes oppressive. So perhaps Keats was onto something with ‘negative capability’- being content with knowing not all. Maybe we should take the pill and take things as they come, pursuing meaning in whatever form it takes in life, stoically casting uncontrollable worries aside. Ultimately making perfection redundant.

Many have come to this conclusion before me but, individual revelation is a powerful source.

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