I was intrigued when my wife had hung a board in the living room that had the message We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly. Not amused seeing the message all the time when I asked my wife about it,she said that she liked the quote and that it had no allusion to anything or anyone in particular. It was her conviction that life would be easier for all if we do not chase the rainbow of perfection in all the things we do, see or acquire. She added this applied to all aspects of life as nothing is perfect in this world.
True we cannot compromise with inferior stuff or imperfect things as there is always an acceptable minimum standard in everything. Granting that premise, if we are not content with what we have and always look for something better in everything, life can turn out to be an endless chase and struggle. When I go to restaurant I go through the menu card carefully and order say channa bhatura I should normally be happy. Yet when I see someone eating a long and crisp onion rava dosa I would wish I had ordered the same. It is the same with every little thing. I would buy a Hamam soap for me and when my wife comes out after a bath with the fragrance of Mysore sandal soap I would regret my choice. I keep changing my brand of whitening tooth paste whenever I see something new in the market. The grass has always been greener on the other side. I always felt the children in my friend’s house were smarter than mine until my wife tells me they score less marks than my children. The images in my TV appear duller and lack clarity than my neighbour’s although both of us have the same make and brand. I keep comparing all the time thinking there are better and more perfect things than mine. I need to be assured constantly that the things I have are as good as or better than any other.
We should thank god for the doughnut we have instead of cursing the hole in it. Instead of being content and happy with what we have, we pay attention on what we do not have or what is wrong with what we have. I am a disorganized person always searching for a comb, car keys, mobile or socks and making all other inmates in the house tense by my whining. In contrast my wife was organized and systematic. She had a place for everything and everything had its place in her scheme. She can retrieve any object of mine in a matter of minutes. She tried to change me initially but gave up when it did not work out. She accepted me as I am with all my warts. She had her own foibles like cooking more than what is needed or buying whatever caught her fancy whether useful or not. Both of us pledged that we would not be openly focusing on the imperfections. As a result life for us was gentle and sweet. This did not mean we ceased to do our best in overcoming our weaknesses. While we recognized that each of us could do better in some areas, this knowledge of inadequacy did not stand in the way of enjoying each others company and accepting the way the things are. Craving for perfection in everything is a disorder unless it is a matter of life and death. Not all the mangoes are alphonso variety. Yet we enjoy a banganpalli or dussheri or langra with equal relish. In life too things are different and if we accept them for what they are, life’s journey would be smooth and joyous.