The Expectation of Perfection

Once a sage visited a small village somewhere in India. He was a renowned seer who could heal the most complicated diseases. People said that he was such a pure, gentle soul that his very gaze could elevate a person’s consciousness and change his circumstances. One day, he healed two women who had been afflicted by a rare incurable disease. The women and their families were ecstatic and wanted the sage to visit their homes so that they could honor him the best possible way. However, the sage declined. One of the women decided to visit the sage’s house and convince his wife. When she reached his house, she knocked at the door. An unkempt, filthy woman opened the door and shouted, ‘What do you want?’ The woman was quite taken aback and asked to meet the sage’s wife. The woman said, ‘Can’t you see? I am his wife!’ The woman apologized and beat a hasty retreat. The wife started shouting obscenities att her. The woman went back to the place where the sage was giving a discourse. She sat down and looked at the sage. The sage smiled and said, ‘when we see something very beautiful, we expect it to be perfect in all respects. However, we don’t realize that nothing can be perfect because everything is constantly evolving.’

I have often experienced this. When I see something or someone who is either very good looking or adept in the work that they do, I expect that their life would be as perfect as their pursuit or beauty. Many a times, a very good looking person has the most squeaky little voice or even vice versa. There are times I have met people who preach about relationships and I discover that their own relationships are about nothing but endless turmoil.

Gautam Buddha, Mahatma Gandhi, Osho and many other great men have also been judged on this aspect. There have been women with brilliant careers, faces, following who have struggled with issues in their personal lives. Look at very successful people and you will often find that their personal lives and relationships have always been a ‘work in progress’.

We as human beings have always seeked perfection. Even in scriptures, while ‘heaven’ is a place of perfect happiness and is meant for perfectly nice beings, ‘hell’ is a place of perfect torture and is meant for perfectly ‘bad’ beings. It took us a long time to understand that there are shades of grey in every person too. Still today, people keep searching for perfect parents, perfect soul mates, perfect solutions, perfect relationships little realising that nothing perfect exists in nature!

In the end, whatever work we do, we are just tiny fragements of the universe who are here to help the world evolve. The messages that we deliver do not have an origin in us, they are born in the universal desire. Just like the seeds of a fruit are dispersed by the wind, we are only at the right place at the right to disperse the message. Judging or fighting or killing a messenger really serves no purpose.

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