I believe in imperfection.
This may seem like a negative belief, like something a cynical scientist might hypothesize before rattling off a list of statistics detailing all the failures of human kind. For me, however, the belief in imperfection is a belief of beauty and hope.
It is impossible for anyone to be perfect, so I believe that we are truly perfect only through imperfection.
I’ve played the violin since I was seven years old, and every time I pick up my instrument, it is because I want to get a little closer to that tantalizing goal of perfection. Nevertheless, when concert day comes, the audience is not there to hear a mediocre sixteen year-old violinist get every note in tune. If that is what they are interested, they would be better off watching a computer perform. They are listening to me because I’m not a perfectly harmonized electronic simulation, and if I skip a few notes and don’t quite make it up to that high A, it sounds more real and human – mistakes and all. That is perfection, as imperfect as it is.
The belief in imperfection lets me be satisfied with myself. I know I will never get perfect grades or play the violin flawlessly, but I don’t need that. I just need to work hard and continue to get a little better everyday, and that is perfect for me. No matter how advanced we are in medicine, my body can still get sick or weak, and will eventually break down. But how can I criticize it? My body is what lets me interact with the world, lets me enjoy the taste of home-cooked meals and connect with other people. Because it lets me do this, the human body is beautiful, and its short-comings cannot detract from its beauty.
The belief in imperfection is one of hope. We will never live in a world completely free from pain and suffering. That is okay. As long as we keep improving ourselves and strengthening our relationships, donating to charities and volunteering a soup kitchens, someday we might reach a point where we have done all we can do. People might still die too young, and there might still be disease and hunger and poverty, but as long as it the best humankind could manage, as long as everyone sees the beauty in themselves and in Earth, then it will be a perfect world.
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