Thursday, October 21, 2010

In which I put my thinking cap on



Do you try to be perfect? Try to make everything you do perfect? It's easy to get sucked in to this belief that you have to be perfect, right? Magazines, blogs, TV etc all show us how we could/should live. But who says what perfect is? Who gets to decide? And why does it matter..?

I'm not perfect. Fact. I accept that. Sure, I will always strive to do my work the very best I can. That is all I can do! Perfection seems rather arbitrary to me anyway. I may see a beautiful painting and think it is perfect. But the painter of that painting only sees all its flaws and wouldn't call it perfect.. Who is right?

Once, many, many years ago, I saw an art exhibit with geometric art by an Arabic (I think) artist. In all of the pieces there was a mistake, an imperfection, because only God is perfect. I like this idea. Although I prefer Nature to God. But it is a nice reminder that we probably can't achieve perfection anyway, so why not give ourselves a break?

This idea of 'deliberate imperfection' can be found in many countries and cultures. Think of Wabi-Sabi. It may not be entirely the same, but it still encourages you to appreciate the beauty in imperfection.

Imperfection is character. It is what makes us who we are. If we were perfect, we'd be all the same, right? That would be boring... I'm not sure if this post makes sense, but that's ok, I think. Things don't have to always make sense. Maybe things that don't make complete sense make us reflect more.



I don't know. Ignorance is another aspect of imperfection I guess; if we knew everything then there'd be no reason to explore and experiment.

I don't know about you, but I welcome 'mistakes', I often find that when I try to push an idea because it is 'perfect', it leads to nowhere. But if I follow the random and the unexpected, then it leads to the good stuff. Something I could never have imagined. So many times I have made a quick sketch for a painting, or something else, and when it is time to make the actual painting, I can never achieve the same spirit as the original sketch had.

In fact, isn't perfection a kind of dead end? If something is perfect, it can't evolve any further? That's boring!

I think when we are not chasing perfection, that is when we come closest to it. When we are open and not judging our own ideas.

If you watch Mythbusters, you'll know their motto is 'failure is always an option'. I think that is so true! Failures/mistakes are not a dead end. They are an opportunity to learn something new, or follow a different course. If you make a mistake it doesn't mean that you stop doing what you're doing. It just means that how you do it has to change.

If we get too caught up in the search for perfection we risk becoming blind to what is good, or even great. I guess that goes for people too, not just the things we make; we don't have to be perfect to be a good person. Or a great one, even...

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