Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Are you a perfectionist?

Sunday, Jan 16, 2010

"The perfectionist is bound to be a neurotic; s/ he cannot enjoy life, until s/he is perfect. And perfection as such never happens; it is not in the nature of things. Totality is possible, perfection is not possible."
Indeed the, perfectionists have difficulty finding contentment.

I was one for many years, thank God, I have gotten out of it. My daughter topped me on that one, when she was little, I would make her bed on the way out to school, that little thing would walk back and pull the bed cover down by 1" on the left, so it is all even, you can almost put a level finder to it.

My late mother beat me too, she would ask me to dig 2 centimeter holes in the ground to plant the flower bulbs, OMG, of the dozen or so holes I dug and planted the bulds, she would go back and take it out and redo it, if it did not meet her Nasa precision by 1/10th of a millimeter.

My uncle would take a day to fix a broken toy, he has got to have it right, then he would complain about the time lost. Hey, at one time, I would fold, re-fold and fold the clothes again until I found satisfaction and then gripe about the lost time, my son would yell, Dad, what's the big deal?

It is an opportunity for us to help our friends with “Perfectionist leanings” to ease into an understanding that even God’s* perfect universe has room to tweak. The orbit of the planets and the system of universe is precisely put together and every thing is running smoothly for times beyond our imagination and will continue to do so. The universe is perfect, but has room for random contingencies.

God* is probably saying, “look at the model of universe I have made out of matter, it is precise and running smoothly and every element is doing what is created to do. [(Please share a quote from your holy text so we can learn, in Qur’aan, Sura Rahman, God says that every thing I have created in the form of matter is doing precisely what it is scheduled to do- Qur’aan 55:6 “[before Him] prostrate them¬selves the stars and the trees.)” and then it continues, be content with what you have, don't deny the goodies I have given you. ] However, I have randomly included falling stars, meteorites and other cosmic debris in the universe and on your planet earth; the Tsunamis or earth quakes. There is no perfection my man."

This is your model, you have the free will, but you do not have influence on every variable out there. “Strive” to be the best but accept that there is no perfection. That acceptance will bring you peace of mind or at least contentment.

Another example to help our friends ease is our own space program. NASA produces precise rockets to go to moon, they cannot afford to have 1/100th of 1 degree variation in the trajectory, but yet, we have had tragic accidents.

You have to accept that, there are others involved in every thing you produce. You cannot demand them to be like you, as you would not want to be like them. You cannot even go to work on time if there is an accident, flood or something else. Do the best and be content with your effort.

The press release I wrote yesterday on the Holocaust and Genocides event, took me a few hours to fix it, if it was a decade ago, I recall, it would have taken me a week to do it, even then I would not have been happy. Take a look; it is at

* God does not have to be taken in the traditional sense shared by religions, it can be taken as the energy or force that logically caused evolution, creation or the big bang for us to come into being.

Mike Ghouse is a thinker, writer speaker and an activist of pluralism, interfaith, co-existence, peace, Islam and India. He is a frequent guest at the TV, radio and print media offering pluralistic solutions to issues of the day. His websites and Blogs are listed on

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