"The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection."- Joe Orton, 1950.
I watched “Surrogates” a few weeks back and the gears started turning in my head. Like most of the reviews I thought that the movie was neither good nor bad, it was so-so. But I was left to ponder the following question, are we really dissatisfied with ourselves that we would always chose to be younger, fitter, handsomer, taller, shorter, blonder, buffer, skinnier. Is that what living life is all about…some fictitious reality that we could choose to operate in. The premise of “Syndicates” is not that far off, plastic surgery is obviously what is available in today’s society…but what about in the future? Would we choose to live a fictitious life with no real consequences…all in the comfort of our own home with little to no interaction with even our family members? That is not a future that sounds desirable to me by any means. Why? We are imperfect beings living in an imperfect world. Yet perfection seems to be a disease and desire of all of us. Could it be that all of us have this inclining of desiring perfection because we were made to pursue it, to attain some level of wholeness? I think so. I think we desire to be perfect because we were originally designed to be perfect. However, that view of perfection varies as some see physical perfection as the highest, while others see intellectual perfection as higher, others see spiritual perfection as the highest, and still others see monitorial ascension as the ultimate benchmark. So what are you trying to perfect? Your body, your soul, your bank account, your mind, or your level in society. When I was in High School, I had the privilege of hearing a motivational speaker several times. He wasn’t like Chris Farley all though at times it would seem that someone had kept him in a basement drinking coffee for several hours. While I can’t remember his name, I can remember one of his messages which was this:
He had two dogs. One was a beautiful, picture perfect, purebred, Golden Labrador; the other dog was a short, funny looking mutt. The two couldn’t be farther apart from one another. The Labrador was trained to retrieve and he looked majestic doing so! The mutt had several issues, the least of which was walking! But the two together had no idea that the other was the perfection of breeding and that the other was complete and utter imperfection. Yet they were best friends, they loved each other, loved to play, eat, sleep and live together. There was no snobbery, no distinction, and no level ascertained, that separated them…they wouldn’t have known any better.He used this story to convey the following point. We cannot walk down the street and say, “He’s got nice abs, I’ll take them.” “She’s got long straight hair, I’ll take that.” “He’s 6’ 3”, I’ll take that.” “She comes from a wealthy family, I’ll take that.” “He seems to have it all together, I’ll take that.” We can’t just pick and chose aspects from other people throw them into our pocket and come out looking like what we see as perfection. In doing so, we become a walking talking piece of fictitious reality, without any texture, scars, learning, or experience to show for it. In essence, in our pursuit of perfection we will have become the ultimate piece of fiction…without any truth.
I believe in our pursuit of perfection; but if we cannot learn to first love ourselves…scars, baldness, short, skinny, fat, curly hair, straight hair, tall, dark, light, rich, poor, smart…our imperfections…than how will we ever learn to love our neighbor, friend, co-worker, or spouse. What I’m not arguing for is narcissism…what I am arguing for is to realize and love ourselves for who we are, rather than who we are not. To look in the mirror and see the imperfections that lay on the outside and the inside and to see the perfection that is taking place. Realizing that perfection will never be ascertained through any method other than through a realistic view of our reality; living a non-fictitious life of reality.