We. Are. All. Flawed. This is one of humanities greatest truths, and yet there often is a compulsion, especially regarding social media, advertising, politics, etc. to depict just the opposite. It’s everywhere: perfect appearance, perfect lives, perfect family and if you were “doing it right” you would be able revel in the happiness that “the right way” brings. The Right claims they have all the answers to live “rightly”, and so does the Left. There are right foods, and right looks, and right beliefs, ad infinitum. And if you aren’t celebrating in said perfection, and still feel you are “doing it right” there is a list of who you can blame for why the “rightness of life” isn’t working for you, including, but not limited, to the government, criminals, foreigners, the mentally ill, a political party or simply put, everyone who think differently than you do. It’s all such bullshit, because life is never perfect, right or fair. But given the level of suicide, depression, anger, polarization, mass shootings, and over all breakdown of society, I would say people everywhere are struggling with the message that we all must strive to be something other that we are at this moment, or there should be a short cut to bypass growing and learning from our imperfections, by a pill or a program to eliminate everything you think is in your way. I know that is a sweeping generalization, but I can’t help but believe that the power of “doing it right” and perfectionism will be humanities greatest downfall.
To start, we are all born with gifts and flaws and it is the journey of one’s lifetime to grow and nurture the the things that hopefully will help us grow and prune away the things that don’t. While that is pretty vague, what growth looks like to each individual is different. The road for each is different. But I think we can all agree that there must be a balance between what helps us all thrive and what doesn’t in a general sense. In my old and imperfect life, I have learned that there are some misnomers out there of what “thriving” looks like. I could go on for a long time about knowing people on either end of the spectrum of beauty, wealth, success, faith, political leanings, age THAT ARE NOT THRIVING. And while the same goes for those who are thriving, the mechanism doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the five qualities I listed. So, stepping aside from all the crap that you think helps one to thrive to their potential amidst a uniquely different learning curve for everyone on the planet, you can see that what we really need is so much more basic than we’ve been conned into. Things like food and shelter, education and encouragement, a society that sees every individual as worthy and full of potential, freedoms like the ones our constitution holds dear, like the pursuit of happiness, and individual rights and autonomy. I know this is far from an exclusive list, but I grow increasingly frustrated with the idea that some deserve to thrive, and some don’t, based on arbitrary ideas of “doing it right” or looking perfect on the outside. The power lies in developing the blueprint that is you, flaws and all. I leave you with a quote and passage from the gospel of Matthew that have helped me thrive on my journey
It is only with the heart that one sees rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye” The Little Prince
You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.
Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house.
1Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.