Sunday, April 8, 2012

Learning to live with imperfections

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.


  1. What you have written is very true. We can never be happy if we keep on looking for perfection in everything.

    You were lucky to have a wife like her. She seems like a good lady.

  2. What a sweet post. Today we want everything in an instant, including relations but the fact is that relations have to be built, to be nurtured. I will always remember ur words

  3. An apt post KP. Well I think perfection is important, but an overdose of anything again is not acceptable. I would prefer to seek perfection in the work we do, try our level best.

  4. very needs to be contented to be happy, and contentment comes from accepting whatevr we have or get..

  5. Rightly said...we never are happy and content with what we have. Comparisons always lead to greed and ultimately one loses peace of mind...

  6. It reminds me of the poem 'the road not taken' by Robert Frost. Quite often we go on comparing our own life with others and it always creates complexes either one superiority or inferiority. And that leads to sorrow only. A very beautiful post as usual.:)

  7. Enjoyed reading your topics... glad to follow.

    One thing I have observed is, Post Comment and some other links are showing in black color and are not visible, I took a wild guess and click on the end to see the comments to post this comment. :-)

    Yum! Yum! Yum!

  8. Namaste my friend.
    I enjoyed this read, very good advice.
    i especially liked the saying, "We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly." ah we can learn so much from that one saying.

    thank you for sharing.


  9. You are right nothing is perfect.. not with the neighbor next door with his huge mansion, expensive car, jewelry and luxurious annual vacations with family.... nor with the ordinary man down the end of the block with his peaceful and serene life. Because something somewhere in there is an imperfection which even they themselves might be struggling with.

    Perfection is when expectations are met... but that's as far as perfection goes. Then a new set of expectations come out to the fore.... and correspondingly struggles resume once more trying to meet those new expectations. A criteria is born for a perceived meaning of perfection.

    Life is never the chase for perfection ventures or moments. Rather life is the journey to that singular perfection at which point God finally smiles and says to us -- 'the work is done'.

    Blessings, KP. Thanks for a very nice post.

  10. Perfection is relative. What i see as a perfect may not be perfect for the other person. Hence do not get into the vicious circle of going round and round in search of perfection.