Perfect Imperfections

John Legend has a popular love song titled: All of Me.  A song about two people madly in love with each other.  And to me the line that sticks out is this idea of how (the singer) loves his lovers “perfect imperfections.”

That song conveys a profound truth and a wonderful insight.  It reveals a discovery about how to see, and what really impacts us.  There is something so surprising about this insight:

The imperfection is perfect.

There is something beautiful about the imperfection. There are some things that wouldn’t be as beautiful without the imperfection.

What are some imperfections we think are perfect?
Distressed Wood
A worn in baseball Mitt
Grey Hair
And when did our culture decide it’s cool for men to be bald?
Mosaics of broken glass
A quirky  or slanted smile

So here’s a question: what if we designed imperfections into our work? Or, didn’t work so hard to take some of the imperfections out? I know, this is counter-intuitive.

We are always in this quest for perfection; for the pure, the pristine, the unspotted, yet there is something so sterile about perfection.  Something so unreal about it.   This holds true about people, organizations, and things.  Frankly, I get nervous around “perfect people.”  They annoy me, and remind me of how imperfect I am.

I have a seminar that I teach about culture, and there is a video clip I use that is an old old video. It’s in black and white, and a little blurry.  Frankly, there is an updated video, in color of a similar kind that conveys the same message.  I prefer to use the old, less perfect version because the imperfections make it perfect.  It adds a degree of mystique to the video and conveys the message more dramatically.  It is the perfect video.

We need to embrace some imperfections and see the beauty in them.  Flaunt them rather than try to hide or cover them up. Celebrate  and enjoy them.  When we discover the “flaws” have a “one off a kind” quality about them we move from judgement to grace, from awkward to awesome,  from different to unique.  When we discover this, we see that these perfect imperfections are not something we want to change, for they enhance otherwise sterile world


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