Is it just me, or is our world driving us to be more and more “perfect”? I mean, we’re talking about from having perfect scores on school exams to having the perfect nose, to the perfect job, perfect life, perfect vacations, perfect homes, perfect birthday parties (go away, Pinterest. Ok, not really), perfect thrills, perfect marriages, and on and on. I think you get what I mean. One of the latest pushes for perfection is even found in the process of childbearing and child-rearing. Gosh, people start arguing about how to have the best birthing experience and where to have it at, to what daycare and preschool to put your tot in that will best prepare him/her for life. It’s no wonder kids now are feeling immense pressure to perform. Frankly, it’s all a bit insane at the mo.
I was speaking recently with a lady who happens to be a counselor at an elementary school. The more she shared of the struggles students were expressing, I had to ask clarify again whether she meant to say she actually worked at a high school. I literally had forgotten because my mind “fixed” things for me. My mind said that such struggles only made sense for say, high school seniors. Surely it’s usually they who don’t know what they want to do or be in life. Surely it’s they who would struggle with feelings of failure. Why would elementary age kiddos be trying to figure out their lives?? For goodness’ sake, I don’t recall having to think hard about anything at that age. I was all about playing, playing, and playing some more with my friends. Ok, and learning somewhere in between those. Why should any child worry?
I had to wonder about these issues both while she chatted with me and thereafter. I blamed myself and other adults like me. What kind of a world are we creating where our young feel such immense pressure to perform and succeed when they hardly know the meaning of both words? Surely our focus should be less on teaching them to be perfect or aim for it, but on showing them a world of mistakes. The reality. The beauty in occasional chaos. They need to know that coloring outside the lines is superb, encouraged, and heck, may even take them far. We need to show them our vulnerabilities, tell them that every single person makes mistakes; it’s a given in life. We need to show them all this by knocking down from pedestals every human being that we’ve positioned there. The American society worships celebrities, from sports to entertainment. Get this. They are human beings behind all that glaze. We need to stop idolizing people, indirectly teaching the young that that place of invincibility is their aim. We are automatically setting them up for failure.
No. It’s time we showed the loveliness in human frailty. The beauty that can come from brokenness. And above all, the God who makes beauty from ashes.
That’s Who they need to put all their trust in. Never in any human being, achievement, or place.
The crux of my conversation here? It’s time they and we…
…aimed for the Perfect one.