Perfection: Society’s Standard

I have to confess I am sick of our society’s standard of perfection. It lingers in every corner of our western world, and stares us in the face whenever we dare to look, when we dare to be simply ourselves. It slithers its’ way into our lives, unsuspectingly, pressuring us to live certain ways, look certain ways and act certain ways, and of a very limited variety.

I see it strewn through magazines lining the grocery store checkouts, hear about it through the radio or on television, telling people their not good enough until they do X, become Y or act like Z. What happened to highlighting reality? We all live real life, the messy, crazy, not always or nearly ever perfect life. It’s not a secret. Why is society putting this dulling perfection as the new in thing to be, as if that is what we really want in this life, to be just like our neighbor? Wouldn’t we run out of things to talk about?

This tedious perfection is slowly but effectively robbing us of our creativity, individuality and ability to think for ourselves. This pressure to change how we act, what we say, and how we look to conform to the ideals of “perfect” is taking away what it means to be beautifully and uniquely human. We are not designed to be perfect, nor should we have that expectation in this life. We are expected to be the best version of ourselves we have to offer, as often as we can offer it.

This need to be perfect is slowly destroying us.

It can cause us to lose sight of those things that matter most in life and cannot be replaced. Family, friends, faith, passion and community; the human connection is partly what makes up the core of our existence. These facets of our life help to define us, guide us, challenge us and ultimately can save us. They can save us from a life of boring sameness; “perfection.”

It is time to shift our thinking.

What if, instead of trying to fit the mold that is set out before us by society at large, we decided being ourselves is enough, more than enough; What if all that energy we put into projecting the person we want others to see, was instead put into supporting ourselves, those around us, and our communities It is all about our priorities. Sure there is nothing wrong with looking good and taking care of one’s self and belongings, but when all our extra energies are put towards projecting this perfection which isn’t real, what is that saying? That we care more about what people think of us than how we live our lives, or how we model our actions for our children to witness, or how we treat another human being in their moment of weakness, their moment of perpetual imperfection?

It is a truth that we are each born with and given specific talents, abilities, passions and not everyone possess the exact same combination. Instead of measuring ourselves against society’s generic, pale, boring standard of perfection, what if we reached for our own, found our own, and lived out our own best version of ourselves? What if by living out this best version, we discovered this vibrant, awe-inspiring person who was capable of just about anything and in that process inspired those around them? It is possible. Instead of becoming all the same, which smacks of a lackluster lifestyle, we should embrace our individual talents, shirking the perception of perfection and live our lives as a testament of what real, good, yet imperfect life is all about.

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