Perfection

My Thoughts on an Imaginary Concept

From a young age we are taught many words, and at a little later stage we are taught many more. One word we are taught from a shockingly young age is: ‘Perfect’. On reflection, I find it hard to understand why such a word would be told to or even be well understood by very young children. Teaching a word such as perfect to a young child, whose comprehension is quickly developing could be detrimental to their entire thought processes. Children are free spirits, yet having work in their books at school or something they do described as being ‘perfect’ by a teacher, parent or peer can build a need for a child to always achieve this ‘perfect’ work. Perfect, by what these children are taught is to have no errors or mistakes, a flawless piece of work, for example. As the child grows and develops their school work and other activities in life because increasingly challenging, making it therefore more and more difficult to achieve perfection. People are also taught (or otherwise shown) that being ‘perfect’ is desirable and something to look to be – this can be so damaging.

This way of thinking and teaching can heavily impact a person’s mentality and self-esteem, which can also lead to mental health complications further down the line. It makes young people compare themselves to others, it makes them judge themselves and the most damaging part of all is that it can make people want to change themselves to achieve what they are told is desirable or ‘perfect’. Once it becomes harder to attain perfection as you progress through life, it can also be a lot more challenging to maintain this status.

More of a Personal Thought:

As with most similar things in life, you have to remember that the idea of perfection is a social construct – made to place people in boxes and put them under pressure to act a certain way; often causing upset and anxiety. I would like to reiterate that the importance of believing in yourself and treating yourself as an individual, rather than feeling the need to conform to societies rules and expectations of people (unless, of course, it is for a legal reason). People often use the expression ‘Nobody’s perfect’, but how often do you believe it? Everyone has their flaws and learning to accept them and live with them is a major importance in life. You should never be afraid of being different.

Overall, I believe that nobody should be placed under scrutiny due to feeling required by themselves or another to be seen as perfect or to conform to certain standards – in any situation. Additionally, I don’t think this word should be used as a goal for anyone to achieve, nor should young children and teenagers have this idea put into their heads. They should be their own people with no fear of seeming different.

Nobody is the same and nobody is perfect!

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Colours Fading to Grey

What if one day there was a power cut and the clouds were grey, you were then plunged into a world of grey and gloom and it was pouring with rain. It is colourless and lifeless, seemingly hopeless. You walk every day in search of a source for the darkness, to solve your dilemma. But when you think you’ve reached the answer, all you find is black paint and handfuls of stardust. Where is the bright blue sky? Where are the flowers, the grass, the rainbows? The colours have gone. People walk with a frown and even the happy puppies have lost their playful spark. The birds no longer sing. The air is still; not calm, but grieving over what the world once was… No more.

This is what the world can look like in the eyes of a person with mental health difficulties. The light, the colour, the happiness from the world has been drained; your life personally has been drained and the world you once knew fades far from your view. There is a heartbreaking uncertainty of the future. Your mind is plunged into negative thoughts, sadness, loneliness and overbearing anxiety. Whenever anyone attempts to light up your dark world, your illness extinguishes it.

It can feel like there is no way of moving forward and you are doomed to remain in a life of utter darkness and despair. It isn’t as though you can snap your fingers and rise out of bed one day magically cured, but nor is it the end. Nobody is going to be cursed to live their life colourless, lonely and sad. Depression is not a ‘terminal’ illness and will not die with you. It will not kill you. However, it can alter a person’s perception and quality of life as a whole. Death as a result of a person struggling with their thoughts is a choice that the person makes. This is not to say that they are in complete control all of the time. It requires a lot of thought, though. The thoughts and urges are not something a person controls or chooses to have, but the consequential acts people may take is a different matter entirely. Desperation and urges are not a choice a person makes. People don’t sit down one day and go: “I’m going to have suicidal thoughts today”. It can feel like too much a lot of the time, this is what drives people with mental health difficulties to their very last, ultimate option. It is not the Be All and End All.

I will leave you with a thought. Something that a very wise person once told me, a quote she had read somewhere that she (and I) now carries through her life:

10% is what life throws at us, 90% is how we react to it…

Take that with you.