The Perfect Utopia
Nameste and welcome,
I hope that you are well. This is my latest thoughts about life and the way that we find our way through life. I think that there aren’t many people who know that I like to immerse myself in art. Some years ago I was a keen photographer and began to appreciate and love art – not all art, it’s of course subjective – in the main, I love looking at people’s work. The human is just so creative. I saw this painting by an artist, David FeBland. It suggests so easily the way that we seek perfection while reality is very different. I loved this so much that I asked David's permission to use it in this blog - David, thank you, most appreciated indeed.
In part, it is this creativity that can be a huge issue for society. For example, photographers seek to take an amazing photo. The subject has to be right, the composition, the lighting and the way that the photographer wishes to portray the image. Now more than ever before, it is easy to take an image and make it atmospheric or saturated or give it an aged or specific look. So now we think of perhaps a model. That model in this case is a female model say perhaps early 20s. There is no doubts that, in the main she wants to conform to society’s view of beauty and desirability. It is society which has a collective idea of perfection, driven by an unrelenting media. So, is seeking perfection bad? Well, let’s look at the phenomena first.
Perfection is said to be “a state of quality” and that can be a thing, a person or an environment. Perfecting, is said to be the action of moulding the same into a perfect state. It is clearly a philosophical question whether or not we can be perfect at all? In fact can true perfection exist? Can we say that a state of perfection is simply Utopian? This idea of utopia emerged from Plato’s The Republic, an idea that people could be gathered together with similar people in terms of social classes. Later, Sir Thomas More’s book coined the phrase while describing a perfect society. Yet, let’s get back to being perfect…
Aristotle suggested three meanings of the word perfection:
- That which is complete
- That which is so good nothing could improve
- That which has attained its purpose
So, is anything complete or has attained its purpose and could not be improved? I would suggest not. generally, we can make things fit for purpose and attain a good level, an amazingly high level of quality and excellence, but perfection? No sorry...
I have had so many clients who are seeking for perfection from themselves in terms of what they do at work or in their spare time and feel disappointed in themselves that they are unable to feel confident because they don’t live up to their own expectations of perfection. I see many people who suffer from body issues brought on through the society’s image of beauty and perfection. Yet, if we have decided that perfection doesn’t exist, then what should we be doing instead?
So, the answer has to be strive for excellence, happiness, acceptance and contentment. Perhaps by living in the moment you will find a level of these already exist. Be the best you can be, but accept that good is enough, that to be content is okay… that our partners love us for our imperfections and who we are rather than the supermodel looks or muscular chests! I believe that contentment comes with acceptance of who we are in the here and now, living in the moment.
One last thought, with Christmas being around the corner – a time when many strive to deliver the perfect Christmas – well, the advice is I hope that now you will ease off yourself… strive for excellence but accept that delivering a nice and loving experience is enough.
David's work can be accessed via - www.davidfebland.com