Saturday, August 6, 2011

Stop Looking For 100% Perfection

One of the things that blocks our progress I feel is is the way we reject people or institutions entirely - because of some small flaw. Our parameters to judge anything is to seek 100% perfection - there cannot be a single flaw anywhere. And this way of judging makes life difficult for people who are nearly there, the 90% people, who have spent most of their lives trying to be perfect, by the book. We reject them gleefully the moment some mischievous contender (politician) insinuates that there could be something wrong. We instantly classify the 90% perfect with the 0% perfect. This lot is hopeless we say, there is no hope!

I think we are better off understanding that we cannot find the 100% perfection, in politics or any other place. Maybe we should recognise people and applaud them for trying their best to be as perfect as they can, their good intentions, their work. Just as we should recognise the mischief of those who have no claim to any good intentions nor any work to show for it.

It is not that we are condoning the 10%. It is that the small percentages are imperfections that could happen to anyone. But if we can forgive a small imperfection (mostly back in the past), which has nothing to do with his current intention which is for the general good, we are better off. That way we have many people who are 90% there, who have good intentions, who are doing some constructive work, to carry the work forward. If we don't we have a whole lot of people who have failed the perfection test and they are all in one cell - the condemned cell. The constructive with the destructive!

Maybe there is a case to be more tolerant and discretionary. To condemn Anna Hazare because of some mischievous remarks by the government is the same stupidity. It should not matter even if he has some serious issues in the past - what has it got to do with his wanting to eliminate corruption? To condemn anyone because of some imperfections is to completely ignore the good they do, they did or worse, can do in the future. It is the very famous frog-in-the-well mentality we are known for.

No one can be perfect. We are all guilty of small crimes, small corruptions. That does not mean we are all bracketed with the condemned lot and have no hope. We must learn to make the discretion between 10% and 90% perfect and give ourselves a chance. By looking at perfection we find no one. We can support no one. We are constantly disillusioned. On the other hand by accepting our mistakes and trying to be as near perfect as possible we can give ourselves a chance.

Several politicians have not been able to do what they could have done thanks to those who brought out irrelevant imperfections against them. Celebrities, movie stars, god men have fallen as well. The mischief maker who does nothing in Parliament except create mischief has done nothing to increase his points by slinging mud at another who has actually done some good work. But we instantly put mischief maker over the other based on his allegations alone.

We could do better and do away with this unforgiving, blinkered, one-size-fits-all mentality. It is time to accept the relative best and go with them. Same with the individual - stop looking for perfection and start hitting the nineties! It gives you so much freedom and allows much progress.

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