I woke up today with the same question in my mind- “How can I be perfect?”. An old magazine that rested upon my study table was there for my rescue. Looking at the mirror, I memorized all the steps to be perfect. Apparently, waking up at 5 in the morning, taking a shower, finishing a glass of milk and walking away from my mother’s calm and embracing hands were not enough to make myself perfect. I am pretty sure my parents were more than happy along these days. I sometimes suspect, if they were the ones who planted that magazine on my table. However, my mind was constantly wondering and painfully realizing how the cells in my body were exponentially multiplying without the essence of perfection.
Every day, I would return from school and start doing my assignments. Interestingly, this was the first time I noticed that I had this huge dictionary. What crossed my mind is I never cared enough to look at the meaning of the word ‘perfection’. Has your old dictionary made your jaws open? Mine did! The meaning was- “the condition, state, or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects”. I was so far away from the meaning. Disappointed and angry, I went under denial. I thought the dictionary was just making the word sound more dramatic than it really was. So, books came along in my life.
I started reading philosophies and ways to achieve perfection. None of the books acted on my favor, rather these books made my simple question more complex. To make it worse, the books pushed me in different directions for the target I was hunting for.
Was I to seek sanctuary under religion? But, reading about the violence created because of religion was good enough reason to throw it out of my ‘Perfection List’. Was getting an education better? But, the very element of physics told me that the output from a machine can never be equal to the input given to the machine. Was it the new technology of computers then? But, they crash, give you wrong output and for everything there’s a new version. How can these things teach me how to be perfect if they are not perfect themselves. This perception of learning from the best element gave me yet another question – “Who is perfect in this world?”. My very first guess was the lord who made us. But, isn’t he the nasty cook of all those disabled children? Is the mother nature perfect? Is the political, economic or social system of the top countries in this world perfect? I found nothing but disappointments. This made me realize that I was trying to achieve something that is impossible. Waking up early in the morning, and constantly asking- “What can I do to make myself perfect?” was all waste of time. Was I to go through all the universe to find this element of perfection? It dazzled me for days.
And then I figured out that an element of perfection always existed through my entire life. From my embryonic stage until today. The element: TIME! It had, has and will have the perfect pace. It is always punctual. There are no flaws and no defects. It occurs in everybody’s life in this planet as well as others’. Throughout the universe, we share the same single element-TIME at the same (interestingly) time. Nothing can stop it. No external force can limit its quality. No one can control its flow. It is indestructible, accurate with perfect precision and independent of all materials.
After comprehending this mystic puzzle, I moved back to my original question- “How can I be perfect?”. The answer is none of us can be perfect. The only perfect element I could find is time and walking along the direction of time is impossible. When people tell me and constantly remind me how perfect they are, it makes me laugh for a second. As William Faulkner said- “All of us failed to match our dreams of perfection. So I rate us on the basis of our splendid failure to do the impossible.” Changes make things easier. I started by changing my original question to – “How can I try to get perfection in my life?” and living along those lines has changed my perspective so much and I wondered how much easier it would have been, if only, I asked the right questions. But, “would it have been exciting?” is yet another story to tell.
(Ideas from Rachana Pathak)