In striving for perfection, we are, ourselves, the only person in which we truly have control. Of course, our young children need to be controlled to protect them from harm, but that is a responsibility. Controlling their lives would be ruining their freedom to choose. Hopefully, we will have influence over them in a positive way, but they ultimately decide to accept your influence or not.
What is Perfect?
Some think of perfect as an absolute – a perfect diamond, a perfect rose, a perfect evening. But a perfect diamond is the best one you can afford. A perfect rose is the one a loved one brings to you. A perfect evening depends mostly on who you are with.
Again, we only have control over our own lives, given our strengths and weaknesses - and that is very important to note! A perfect branch is not perfectly straight. A perfect cloud can have countless shapes. A perfect day for a gecko may not be a perfect day for a duck. Perfection, in my mind, is performing the best you can with what you’ve got given the circumstances that surround you.
Perfection within Limitations
My oldest daughter was a perfect softball player. She was not the best softball player, not even the best on her team. But she always showed up! She always ran as fast as she could. And she played for her teammates more than she did for herself. There was nothing I could have asked of her to be better. There were, however, other players who were less than perfect than my daughter even though they could run faster, hit better, or were naturally more athletic.
If I met someone who liked baseball, photography, and airplanes as I do, then I would think they were close to being perfect as a friend. My wife would not think that person a perfect friend at all, even though she puts up with me liking those things. Perfection in our relationship depends on our being loving, listening, and sharing. Did I mention this standard is difficult to attain? But striving for perfection remains the secret, like my daughter did in softball.
You Control Your Own Level of Perfection
If you think kindness, openness, manners, and work ethic are the keys to approaching perfection as a human being, then you are the only one you can control to become that person. Your personality, skills, and attitude are yours! You own them. But you don’t own anyone else’s. Because of that fact, you should be, or strive to be, the most perfect person you know! Your perfection is how you see the world not others because your perfection would never be anyone else’s. Then there are those who consider perfection as having no responsibilities, no goals to work towards, nor having to meet anyone’s expectations. That is a perfect waste of a life!
In softball, absolute perfection is batting 1.000. But perfection as a player is trying your best at all times to bat 1.000 knowing a perfect performance may be batting .400 for one player, and batting .275 for another. The real world will be looking at perfection with a world view. The .400 hitter will be favored. That’s just how the real world works. However, don’t ever let that reality hurt your self-worth!
I want each of my children and grandchildren to be the most perfect person they know possible. Clearly, they need to understand that I never expect them to be perfect to anyone else’s standards. I do hope they have high standards for themselves. That’s where my wife and I have expectations of ourselves, to instill those standards in them the best we can, with the skills we have, and the circumstances that surround us.