The Perfect Blog Post

From http://www.allposters.com

A concept that has fascinated me for some time is that of perfection.  People will say something is perfect, but what does that really mean?  If we look at the dictionary definition we see that perfect means having no mistakes and flaws or completely correct and accurate.  But all of these words have some subjectivity to them.  Few people agree on what a mistake or flaw is.  And is anything completely correct and accurate?  If something can be, we often find that there is disagreement here also.

It seems to me that perfection is ultimately an ideal that everybody holds, but that nobody really agrees on.  In this way I find it very similar to the concept of God.  And many people say God is perfect and so the analogy is even stronger in that respect.  Nobody can really agree on the nature of God and everybody holds a slightly different view of what God wants and how He/She behaves.    In addition to the fact that I believe it is not up to the atheist to disprove the existence of God (but up to the theist to prove the existence of God), it seems also a fruitless task to disprove something which is not clearly defined.  Perfection seems to me exactly like this.  If perfection is an ideal and what is ideal is subjective to the person holding the ideal then perfection as a concept maybe limited in value to all but the individual.  Which means just like you shouldn’t be trying to enforce your vision of God on anybody else, perhaps we should also not be so adamant that others share our view of perfection.

Can we truly experience a shared value of perfection?  Many have tried to define a perfect system of government, a perfect society or

From http://dancearchives.net

civilization, a perfect self, but it is unclear that everybody agrees with those ideals, and many times they seem so implausible to reach that it seems that they will simply be rejected because some feel they are not rooted in reality.  But I think those that try to come up with these “universal” ideas of perfection do believe they are obtainable, at least in some distant future.  I hold similar ideals as I am sure all you do as well.  It seems to me though that we define this conceptual perfection beyond the present, but feel that the goal of perfection is not so far away that we can eventually reach it.  Science might give us some better clues as to what some perfect state might be, but to do so we would have to be sure we knew absolutely all the variables.  And we are far, far away from that and it seems likely we will never be at a state in which we know everything about the universe.

The next question then is, well what if we really do reach some state of perfection?  I wonder if we can simply be content and happy in the long term, before we are really start thinking about how things could be even better.  This seems true at an individual level or even if we do have some shared value of what perfection is.  Unless we knew everything (highly unlikely) it seems like we would always be searching for more and that perfection is not possible.

Finally I think then it is worth asking the question, are such ideals like perfection a good thing?  If it is a goal we can never reach does it prevent us from being content and happy in life?  The answer is maybe.  I think if you accept that perfection is some point on the horizon that you can move towards but never reach (or at least not reach easily or quickly) then you might instead to learn to appreciate the journey you take to get there.  If on the other hand you believe the perfect state is actually reachable in a tangible way and you don’t get there, then this can leave one frustrated, disappointed and unhappy.

While I ponder about perfection frequently, the most recent inspiration was looking at my son.  He seems perfect.  He has no mistakes or IMG_7532flaws.  He will make mistakes and he will have flaws however.  Thus I began to wonder if maybe, even as a concept, perfection doesn’t exist.  It’s just something we believe in but have no evidence of.  Because he is who he is, and while we will try to nurture him positively into the world, everything about his life will be different than mine and who he ends up as will be who he is supposed to be.  He is supposed to make mistakes and have flaws.  Thus he is in accordance with his nature.  As we all are.  Our nature is to change, to grow, and be imperfect.  In the end perhaps we are all according to our nature, and maybe that is what perfection really is.  The good news is, nobody is saying you have to like it.

I think it is very important, however, that we have these lofty concepts, and that we continue to dream of better ways to live life, because it could be that in our imaginings we do end up moving towards some better future.  I think as long as we remain humble about our dreams of perfection and be willing to modify and change our ideals when life presents us with new information then the concept of perfection can have meaningful purpose.

 

 

 

 

Wonderful thoughts

I consider my first love, a girl who did not even love my back and who didn’t know how I felt.  It’s not the same, and I’m not going to even claim that it was as intense as the first time I fell in love with someone who was in love with me, but this girl changed my life.  Before I met her, I never even dreamed someone so beautiful would talk to me, and more importantly that I would have the confidence to talk to her.  I had a lot of self-esteem issues growing up and that may surprise some who have only known me in my 30’s and it took me a long time to even have the nerve to even ask a girl out.  I didn’t do that until I was 18.  She was very kind, said she felt flattered but that she had a boyfriend.  Of course I was disappointed, but it gave me some confidence. I then went on my first date at the age of 19.  I was a mess on that date, and she didn’t want to date again, but it was another confidence builder.  Yes it took me until the age of 20 to even have the nerve to really talk to a girl I found that beautiful like a normal human being.  We became friends though, and she had a boyfriend at the time and so it was really inappropriate for me to really express my feelings anyway.  And she was extremely beautiful and I don’t regret at all that I didn’t express myself because if you can’t also be friends with someone you find attractive than you have no business getting into relationships anyway.  Because of her I gained so much belief in myself it’s hard to describe.  And she is out there with absolutely no idea what she did for me, and I will forever feel grateful to her.

Stories of my boring early love life is not the point of this post, but what is the point is that we all have these kinds of memories.

From http://the07.deviantart.net

Incidents and people that touched our lives and trajectories have moved us apart without them ever knowing how they changed us.  It doesn’t always have to be a positive experience.  It could be negative at the time, but upon reflection we learned the right lesson from it.  It could be an acquaintance sharing a tale of woe and from that we have an extra piece of knowledge that may help us avoid that situation in the future, hurling us on a different trajectory than we otherwise would have taken.  These moments can happen so briefly and the other person has no idea the changes they’ve caused in you. And who knows, some of these small moments may even plant the seeds of greater change.

As I reflect on these people and these moments it makes life feel absolutely amazing because if I’m feeling a bit down on myself, feeling a bit invisible, or feeling smaller than I like in the vast universe, I remember that I also do not know what impact I might have had on others.  Whether I have been at my best or at worst I still may have helped someone grow, change, lead a better life.  Sometimes I think it would be nice to know, but given how people have changed me without them knowing, I don’t know need to know exactly, I can simply be confident that at least some people out there have benefitted by my existence.  I think that as long as I keep trying each day to be more than I am, then good things will always happen.  And it’s good to know that at 40, I’m still an optimist at heart. 🙂

What is not life?

A charming blogger I follow who is full of sharp wit, emotional depth, and genuine kindness recently posted a poem called What is Life?  Her answers to that question follow and are an enjoyable read.  Someone in the comments of that post asked the question, “What then is NOT life?” and that question had me thinking.  So I thought in response to her poem, I would write a quick one of my own, which is not nearly as clever or humorous, but hopefully at least makes you ponder the question that I did. 🙂

What is not life?

It is not straight lines,

From http://www.smscs.com

It is not absolute,

It is not nothing,

It is not one truth.

It is not an ideal gas,

It is not constant,

It is not always visible, heard or felt,

It is not just about you

It is not probable,

It is not in equilibrium,

It is not predictable,

It is not perfect.

It is not disconnected,

It is not small,

It is not for the faint of heart,

(And…in the vast depths of time of this universe),

It is not long.