I’ve been reminded of late that I’ve been taking the “art of perfection” to an unhealthy extreme. No, it’s not a colleague or a friend who was kind enough to do the prompting, but rather a still small voice in me cautioning my obsession. Doing things really well has been an inculcated discipline of mine ever since I started my working career. I’ve since realized that taking this too far in expecting everyone else to live up to my high expectations can be unhealthy to myself and the people around me. It can cause undue stress of the negative kind and strain a few relationships along the way!
A story is told about a kid whose mum would regularly struggle to cook dinner after a long, hard day at work. One evening, his mum placed a plate of vegetables, omelette and extremely burnt rice in front of his dad, who without a word reached out for it, smiled warmly and started eating. He finished his meal as if there wasn’t anything amiss with his wife’s cooking.
When the boy got up from the table that evening, he heard his mum apologizing to his dad for burning the rice, to which his father replied – “Honey, I love burnt rice!” Later that night, as the boy went to kiss his daddy good night, he enquired whether the statement was indeed true.
His father wrapped the kid in his arms and said, “Your Mum put in a hard day’s work today and she’s is really tired. And besides – burnt rice never hurt anyone!”
You know friends – life is full of imperfect things…and imperfect people. I’m sure you will agree with me that we are not the best at everything. We all forget birthdays and anniversaries like everyone else. We lose track of time, miss deadlines, and turn up late for appointments. The key to coming up tops despite all these misgivings is to learn to accept each other’s faults and choose to celebrate each other’s differences. This is one of the best ways to create healthy, growing and lasting relationships.
In life, it is unrealistic to only want the positives and not accept any of the negatives. Our all-encompassing journey is packaged with a full suite of experiences and associations. To ensure a healthy existence, we must learn to accept the good, the bad, and the ugly.