The Pursuit of Perfection

7 Mar

I am not yet perfect; But I am the best!!!

I am not yet perfect; But I am the best!!!

Well, I just had a dream. I was running on a strip of rainbow. I was trying hard to run on the Green strip, because that is the middle of a rainbow, the ‘perfect’ middle. I wonder why the dream was precise about the middle of the rainbow strip. I was trying so hard to run on exactly the green colour, because my coach was very particular about it. He was trying to get me to win. But I was not interested. I was only scared to not step out of the Green colour because he was a perfectionist. In the end I was not even sure if I won the race or not or if there were other participants or not. I only remembered that I tried not to step out of the Green colour ever. But I was not even sure if I achieved it or not. Strange, I thought later. But not so much either.

So, where does it leave this post with the pursuit of perfection? What did I achieve? Was my coach happy? Does it matter if I was on the Green strip or the red? Does it matter if I won? But my coach was happy. Does that matter at all to me? Or even to him?

I remember my mother’s perfection in folding clothes. It does not need to be ironed at all after she folds them. I remember that none of our school uniforms were ever ironed. Perfection! The certifying authority was the necessity of the clothes to be ironed.

Is perfection achievable? Is it definable? It is explainable? What about excellence? Perhaps excellence is worth pursuing. But then again, who certifies excellence as excellence? The mind caters to all this mumbo-jumbo. Does a happy heart run behind perfection? Are happy people perfect? Happy people are content. Are content people perfect? This is a paradox and hardly a question. I think life has various meanings for various people. And two people with two different minds have different yardsticks about perfection.

Was Buddha perfect? Leaving his family behind to pursue spirituality can hardly be called wise. But can Buddha be blamed? He was definitely an imperfect father and imperfect husband. What standards would we use to judge if he was a perfect man? Attaining nirvana under a bodhi tree leads to perfection? What about Lord Krishna with 16,000 wives and stealing butter everyday? Was he moral? Ethical? Were the greatest scientists of humanity perfect? Did they get perfect results the first time they experimented? Albert Einstein was sent away from school by his teacher because he was not good in mathematics.

Perfection in homemaking chores, perfection in parenting, perfection in dancing, singing, movie making, perfection in grades, perfection in relationship (now this is something worth thinkable for which there is not answer), oh well, the pursuit of perfection for everything in this universe is worth pursuing when the certifying authority understands you, understands your efforts. I think results should be judged by the efforts than standards and measures and rules. Oh, but the rules of the games are made by perfectionists, aren’t they!!! Fruits of your efforts are tasted by only you and the sweetness known only to you. But the world rants on!!!

I wonder what made George Will, the Pulitzer Prize winner say, “The pursuit of perfection impedes improvement”. But I strongly agree.

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3 Responses to “The Pursuit of Perfection”

  1. S S Ramkrishnan March 7, 2012 at 10:43 pm #

    It is so very good, makes me think and feel and move on in my evolutionary path of love..but maybe ther is something more.Please keep writing…

    • The Alchemist March 8, 2012 at 7:43 am #

      Like you said, perhaps love is as good as it can get in nearing perfection..!!

  2. N. Sharada March 8, 2012 at 12:08 pm #

    Being kind to our fellow human beings. Letting go off unwanted. unpleasant memories, harsh words uttered by others. Making all effort for a good, pleasant (in fact loving would be better but I think it is extremely difficult!) relationship with our family, relatives. The pursuit of this may lead us to near perfection

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