Friends, we must stop our mad obsession with perfection. Because, let’s face it: we all have moments when we’re neither the whitest shorts in the basket nor the sharpest knife at the crime scene.
A tiny example: let’s say that while attempting to form Spock’s “Live Long and Prosper” V-sign with your fingers, your concentration slips, triggering a tiny misfiring along the neural pathways. Your big toe suddenly stands up straight and—depending on the length and sharpness of the nail—it pokes right through your sneaker. If you happen to be in the frisker line at the airport, you get arrested for failing to put your deadly feet into one of the plastic bins–but not, of course, in the same bin as your belt or underpants or those of the guy behind you.
Here’s a slightly less tiny example: The other day this guy I know (not me) was neatening up in the kitchen and came across a lemon wedge that someone (not K-Mac) left untended on the counter. My friend popped it into a baggie and was about to put it into the refrigerator when it slipped from his hand to the floor.
Many people might have shouted “You little snot,” and scooped the lemon off the floor with prejudice. Or they may have hollered “You puckering, citrus weenie, you don’t deserve my refrigerator.” In fact, if you were to get a book from the library on appropriate things you can say at times when your perfection is challenged, you’d find both of these epithets verbatim in the chapter on dressing down uncooperative fruit.
Instead, when my imperfect friend (not me) dropped the lemon, he blurted “Oooh, sorry bud.” He picked it up, checked to see if it needed any lemon aid and then escorted it to the fruit vault.
Just then, someone (not K-Mac, gosh, no) came into my friend’s kitchen (not my kitchen).
“Who were you just talking to?” someone (not K-Mac) asked.
“Um, no one,” said my friend (not me).
Someone looked at not me with knowing eyes. “Did I hear you apologizing to a lemon wedge?”
Jeezy weezy, you show compassion to one little lemon wedge and suddenly you’re a mental case.
Anyway, this same friend of mine was at the optometrist for his regular eye exam recently. He’s staring through a contraption that is a cross between a periscope and the Green Giant’s sunglasses. The eye guy is busy sliding lenses into and out of the contraption to find which ones make the letters on the wall-chart clearer.
At one point the eye guy says “Now how does it look?” My friend looks for the letters but can’t find them.
“Ah,” says the eye guy. “And now?”
He still sees nothing.
“Nothing.” He’s beginning to get worried.
“I can’t see anything.”
The eye guy says “Hmmm.” And my friend is also doing a Hmmmmm, but with more m’s and a sweat chaser.
Just then, a jam-up on one of the outbound neural pathways of my friend’s brain clears. He opens his eyes. Literally. Suddenly he can see all the way to Sunday and he passes the exam (luckily there were no essay questions.)
So what happened? For the answer look to good old Jeremiah, the bullfrog in the King Jimbo Bible who said something like “Zeke, there are none so blind as those who will not see.”
Translation: Keeping your eyes shut does make it much easier to avoid seeing the road sign that says “Perfection: One jillion miles.” But remember, friends, maintaining eye contact with reality makes it a lot easier to see the taco stands and to keep your imperfect butt from developing secondary and even tertiary cracks.
Of course, there are always naysayers. For instance, someone (not K-Mac, no way) who heard this sad but true eye exam story told me “Someday you’ll look back and wish you’d kept this to yourself.”
©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013-2014, all rights reserved.