Perfectly Imperfect

Hans - huntington, New York
Entered on November 29, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: illness, setbacks

I believe in a dream. It is not the exact dream Martin Luther King depicted, but it is a dream that imperfection in itself will be seen as what it truly is…the only perfect thing we encounter while living. In our, society we analyze and criticize those whom don’t fit the status and force them into seclusion both emotionally and physically.

My name is Hans, and I am proud to be an outcast. By the age of 19 I have had about 10 surgical operations due to spina-bifida which I have had since I was born. Each and every time I entered the operation room, there was no escaping the thought “could the reason these things are happening to me be because I am so imperfect?” Minutes quickly progressed into months and the thought remained unanswered. It caused the faith I had in myself to wither.

For a while my encounters with the surgeons table and scalpel came to an enjoyable halt and allowed some much needed time to reflect on something I has been neglecting for a while…myself. As I stared at myself in the mirror one morning an epiphany occurred and played over and over in my head like a broken recored: Imperfection Is Perfect.

Ironically even though I am confined to a wheelchair physically, my mind has no boundaries. I did not realize this until it had occurred to me that life had just begun for me and with hard work and dedication my dreams would become a reality. The moment my credo had also served as my catharsis was when a young kid asked what was wrong with me (referring to my disability).Surprisingly before I could answer my dad looked at him and said “he’s perfect”. For as long as I can remember, my father and I have never had a parallel in perceptions. In a sense just those few words helped me realize that although words were never said, the bond we share as father and son would never be broken by any disability.

If given the choice to wake up and have the full capability and mobility in my legs, or to keep this lifestyle, I would not switch a thing. What some might see as an imperfection, I have made into a strength, whether it be joining the wrestling team in middle school to showcase my upper body strength, or writing poetry to show that even though my appearance is different I am still human and share the same emotions as everyone else. Judgment upon others is passed like a disease, but if you look around the room or at the people within your life, you will realize we all have imperfections for a reason. I have been criticized, analyzed and categorized my whole life, but I feel as if my imperfections have made me the man I am today. Sometimes I wish everyone else could wake up and realize that imperfections make us all individuals which in turn is perfect. Until that point I guess I have to keep dreaming.