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This is Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay Click HERE on this line to find essays via Your-Key-Words. {Most frequent wordstarts of each essay will be put here.} ========================================================== %STRIVE PERFECT ABSENCE FLAWS DEFECT CONFORM IDEAL 890730 The amount of strife, tension, conflict, frustration, violence, etc. which we experience depends in part upon how we define perfection, and upon the context within which we seek perfection. Perfection may be defined in terms of the balanced fulfillment of our own potentials with personal and communal integrity. Such a definition tends to minimize strife. Perfection may also be defined in terms of the absence of defects, flaws, imperfections, scratches, dust, contaminants, pollution, foreign matter, foreigners, etc. Such definition tends to maximize strife. When perfection is defined in terms of the elimination of imperfections such as flaws, we invite tragic trouble into our lives. We tend to become participants in contests and endeavors in which the question is who is most nearly perfect; and who is not. When success seems within reach we find and define new kinds of flaws to be concerned about, and new ways to detect old kinds of flaws which were too small to detach with previous techniques. We become willing to sacrifice our integrity in the competition to eliminate the kinds of technical flaws which most concern us. In the heat of competition our concerns change, and the nature of the contest changes as others change what concerns them. When competition for perfection focuses upon the elimination of technical defects and flaws, we tend to experience high levels of anxiety, strife, tension, conflict, frustration, violence, etc. Life tends to become a conformal contest with regards to changing rules over which we do not have control. In such a situation perfection as the absence of technical flaws is impossible; stress grows and undermines our health, integrity, and sense of well-being. Then we cannot fulfill our potentials with honesty or integrity. We and our communities disintegrate. It makes an important difference as to how we define and seek perfection in our daily lives. If perfection demands total control, and imperfection demands rejection, we are set to slip into addictive and codependent relationships. If perfect people are in perfect control and well disciplined, then conformity and coercion are bound to be important factors in our daily lives. If imperfection means rejection, then dishonesty is bound to become a central reality in our daily living. If flaws are to be eliminated to achieve acceptable perfection, then in our competitions nit- pickers are bound to dominate. To be good people who think they are perfect we must achieve the knowledge of good and evil by eating of the tree in the middle of the garden of Eden. Then we can feel we are perfect as we think God is perfect. That would be our downfall! (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================