Originally posted on Facebook on February 26, 2011:
Miss ‘knowing it’s all good’
It didn’t slow me down.
Always second guessing
Look, I’m still around
Pretty, pretty please
Don’t you ever, ever feel
Like you’re less than
Pretty, pretty please
If you ever, ever feel
Like you’re nothing
You’re f**king perfect to me.
~ F**ckin’ Perfect performed by Pink
WE ALL strive to be as “perfect” as we want ourselves as people, as human beings, to be. It’s in our human nature. People will all get self-critical, and sometimes in a negative sense, self-judgmental of our own physical appearances, the way we act, the way we talk and even the way we think things through. This occasionally can be an advantage for every person, since our conscience tells each of us as individuals that sometimes, we may go a bit too far and over-obsess on things or on the other end of the spectrum, we may not care enough about our physical appearances, our state of minds or our emotions and pretend like it’s none of our business to even care about. On one hand, the human conscience, the moral state (i.e. the moral mindset) helps to keep a person’s intrinsic motivation up to speed and we all try to tell ourselves that every once in a while, we all need to be healthy physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Although we each, as individual people, try to constantly remind ourselves to live “healthy” lifestyles, the reality is, this obviously isn’t always true or factual.
The truth of the matter here is that there is one other determining factor that affects the mentality and emotional state of every human being on the planet: what other people say, do or think about us as individuals. Outside of our own consciences, the external remarks of other people can either do one of two things: boost one’s self-esteem and self-worth up and the said person will in time feel accepted by other people, or the opposite effect can happen here; the same said person can be hurt and forever scarred by someone else’s negative criticism…yes, maybe even just one remark like “You’re ugly. We’ll never let you join our sports team” or “You’re just stupid. You’ll never go to some prestigious school! So dream on jerk!” can start out as just a sad moment, this person may go home and sob into their pillow for a whole night, but the longer these incidents seem to multiply, the sadder this person will mentally and emotionally get, eventually manifesting itself into a life-long depression.
Have you ever felt that way before? Sad or depressed because people judge you based on your looks, your personality, your poor academics, all of the above or even none of the above?
Let me assure you that you are definitely not alone on this one.
Most of us all deal with issues, but not everyone dares to speak up and voice them. For these people, their reasons for never saying a single word about the issues that they deal with and go through are many, but I think I can perhaps guess some of the more obvious ones:
- Some people are just very shy and have a more difficult time trying to advocate for themselves. This is especially true in young children, but can also apply to people at nearly any age.
- Some people have extremely deep emotional, mental, or spiritual wounds that they keep lodged inside themselves for many years and they never want to bring up the issues that caused them ever again because it might bring back haunting memories of the incident or incidents.
- Some are afraid that even if they openly admit their problems to other people, these other people might act like they’re listening to you, but on the inside, they could really care less about the issues that you’re talking about.
- Others are afraid that no one else can really relate to the issues that this person goes through.
- Still others are afraid to say anything because they’re not sure whether or not the issues that they might bring up will get them into some sort of trouble, and so they would rather keep their mouths shut than speak.
Though these are all understandable reasons, sometimes, it is important to have a catharsis with just maybe even one other person you can wholeheartedly trust, although I will admit that it can be rather difficult to actually find those people that will allow you to cry on their shoulders unwillingly with open arms. But that still doesn’t ignore nor undermine the very fact that you need to have that kind of catharsis, that openness to honestly share what’s on your heart and mind and what honestly bothers you.
As an imperfect person myself, I apparently still remain a strong and enduring inspiration to all of you out there that truly know me and love me for the person that you see. But here’s another shocking truth that even I have learned and have gradually have come to accept: the person that one sees on the outside may not necessarily be the true person on the inside. The only exception to this is when the said person boldly and firmly shows their true inner broken self to other people and these people, for the first time, see the imperfections in a guy or girl that these people thought were “perfect” in every way.
This is the common misconception that society seems to put on individuals, and it doesn’t matter if it’s Hollywood fame and fortune or just glancing at some random person passing by you on the street. Humans tend to have this presumption that when they look at other people, they won’t necessarily think, “That person over there must be going through some hard times too.” Instead, it’s the exact opposite. When you glance at someone else sitting next to you at a lunch table, on the subway, in a library, or even in the classroom, you’ll probably be thinking, “Dang, that person over there must be living the good life right now. He or she isn’t and doesn’t have to deal with all of the crap that I have to deal in my life!”
This is where we create this false image, this false conception that other people have lesser problems or maybe no problems at all to deal with in their everyday lives, and this is what makes them perfect in our eyes. This kind of conception is sadly, also a part of human nature, a human tendency to think that everyone else must be at a better place than you in life.
There is also no denying the fact that everyone does not think this way from time to time. I mean, believe me, I do it too, and I realize that this kind of thinking is one of the essential tenets of being human.
No one can’t and should ever say “No!” to denying this very fact because we all think this way deep down within our very hearts.
But the older I physically get, and the more I see the world—and all the people living in it—through my eyes, the more I notice that we humans are really imperfect creatures disguising ourselves as perfect beings on the outside even though we are very messed up on the inside. I have learned to teach myself to seek an understanding through conversing with my fellow peers and adults alike that I am able to see the problems that they deal with and go through and as I do, I am able to gradually see with both my visible eyes, as well as the eyes of my heart, the imperfections of nearly anybody come out and surface for me to be able to see.
Nowadays, whenever I leave an engaging and intimate conversation with someone, I always leave it with an ever greater understanding that I have just made contact with yet another human being that’s just as imperfect as me. As I have come to accept this newly acquired perspective on people and on life, I see with a brand new pair of eyes how broken others really are. The soft underbellies—the sentimental and emotional side of others—gradually emerge and for the first time, shed a few rays of light and strike a few chords deep within my heart as I can now clearly see with my newfound eyes.
My disillusioned eyes now finally reveal to me that in essence and in truth, the real world demotes our idols, not exalt them. It’s true that we have to learn how to praise our own “heroes” in life, but just remember that your heroes aren’t godly figures, and probably never will be.
They are imperfect people, just as you are.
Reread again the last few verses of Pink’s single that I quote: “Pretty pretty please if you ever, ever feel like you’re nothing, you are perfect to me” (the last few lines in the entire song).
Though I acknowledge that Pink uses the f-word quite frequently in the song, I don’t necessarily view it as just random derogatory swearing. I believe that it actually brings out the true message that Pink wants to covey to her fans, that because there is no perfect person on this planet, we are all “f**king perfect”. We are all screwed up on the inside, and so the very idea of human perfection is sadly, a flawed one.
That doesn’t mean, however, that we humans shouldn’t strive for perfection, or ignore it at all for that matter.
Though we can’t necessarily be perfect in every single way possible, the goal here, I humbly believe, is to strive for the highest expectation that you could possibly set for yourself and strive for in life, and this doesn’t just apply to academics alone. It applies to nearly every aspect of human life. You have to know your limitations, so do as much as you can physically and mentally accomplish and one by one, be proud of every goal and every milestone that you have achieved so far, and then just keep going.
Are you striving for perfection? If you are, I can assure you that you are definitely not the only one today. I can guess that perhaps thousands of other people out there right now also try their very best and very hardest at being the “over-achievers” in life.
Therefore, I view the idea of total perfection to be a totally overrated one in every way possible. But that should not ever undermine the true essence of achieving, striving and most importantly, enduring to be the most successful person that you can be in life. Perseverance is the key to bringing out the very best qualities that you possess.
Now that’s what I can finally call true perfection.
~ A Fellow Columnist, Josh Chen.