We live in a world inundated by this concept called “perfection”. Although we as humans have this idea that perfection is attainable, it is merely a concept, not a real, achievable goal. From a young age, we are for taught that perfection will lead to happiness. And, this isn’t just something that has been going on in our lifetime, but for many decades previous as well. In the 50s, the wave of consumerism, suburbanism, and the idea of the “perfect American family” took over society. American films for years have portrayed love as this wonderful feeling with the perfect backstory. The rise of social media has made it very easy for people to put up this front that their life and appearance are perfect. All of these things set unrealistic expectations for our lives, and also insinuate that the key to happiness is perfection.
Often times, however, we can see that perfection is not what brings joy. There have been countless, unexpected celebrity deaths for years now which can be attributed to drugs and depression. The public always responds to these deaths; Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Kurt Cobain, Judy Garland, Whitney Houston, and Robin Williams, just to name a few; by wondering, “Why would they get so far deep into drugs and depression if they have it all?” Elvis had to simultaneously deal with the pressure of fame, and the guilt about surviving while his stillborn twin brother didn’t, that only intensified with his success. Robin Williams spent his entire acting career making other people happy, when he wasn’t himself. Sure, from the outside, it seems that they have attained perfection. But this is unfortunate proof that perfection does not always bring joy.
Desiring perfection can actually backfire on us as well. It can destroy relationships, especially in this day and age where significant others tend to expect so much from each other. It can destroy our physical and mental health, as men and women across the world work themselves silly just to get the body that society deems “perfect”. It can also completely ruin our outlook on life, if we think perfection; rather than pure elation, is the ultimate goal.
To me, the key to joy does not mean having the perfect car, the perfect house, or the perfect body. To me, we hold everything we need in our very hearts to be joyful. Pure happiness comes from exploring passions, embracing flaws, and spending time with the people that you love. Joy is being able to look at yourself in the mirror, and rather than despising your imperfections, learning to adore each and every one of them. We must learn to find the beauty in flaws and human imperfection. Once we do, life becomes more colorful, unique, and extraordinary.