17 agosto 2008


"The belief that perfection can be achieved affects the lives of countless numbers of people. Many are obsessed with achieving perfection to the point that it affects their physical and psychological well-being. (...) They seek the perfect mate, the perfect job, the perfect body, and are often unhappy in their quest. (...) These people experience disappointment and dissatisfaction and are often unable to enjoy the simple pleasures of life.
Perfection is meant to be an abstract ideal, it is a concept designed to spur us on to greater heights. The meaning of the word perfection is illustrated by the phrase "striving toward perfection." Few people who adopt seeking perfection as a value (as opposed to achieving perfection) expect to achieve it. Seeking perfection merely connotes that process of moving closer to an abstract ideal.
The concept of perfection in itself has no meaning in a concrete sense. It only takes on meaning when we ask the question "perfect for what?" In other words, it is a relative concept. Perfect weather for sailing is not the same as perfect weather for ice-skating; the perfect fishing rod when deep sea fishing for marlin is different from that used when lake fishing for trout.
Our society reinforces perfection. From childhood we learn that being "good" is very important. We learn that "good" means being quiet, orderly, clean, and disciplined, where being controlled is rewarded. (...) From early on we train our children to function in the world where being compulsive and perfect pays off.
Schools further reinforce these values. (...) Conformity is the goal in many schools and controlling the children takes a higher priority than learning and discovery. Perfect children are quiet children."

E.Dreyfus, Search of Perfection

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