Imperfection & Self-Reliance

I think these are the keys to happiness. Well, two of the keys. By which I mean to say that there may be millions of “keys to happiness” (or perhaps just a handful), of all different shapes and sizes, of which “Imperfection” and “Self-Reliance” are two of the most… erm… substantial ones. Or the biggest. Or the ones most likely to open “The Door of Happiness.” Or something. Well anyway, you get the gist (hopefully). So…

Imperfection… specifically the acceptance of. The saying on my desktop calendar t’other day was something like, Seek perfection in everything you do. To which I say, Nay! Nay! And thrice nay! Too much pressure! What’s the point? Surely life should be about prioritising those things which are worth “putting your all” into and those which aren’t? Which is, of course, different for each individual human being on the planet. If I, for example, “seek perfection” in the arrangement of my paperclips, if I take the time to make my paperclip collection the greatest, tidiest, most well-organised paperclip collection in the world, what have I gained? And furthermore, what more worthy parts of my life have suffered from my spending so much time on paperclips? So no! Do not seek perfection! Seek imperfection! Accept imperfection! Accept that to be a happy, well-rounded individual, imperfection is inevitable and indeed necessary!

Self-reliance… I wrote the first part of this blog entry on my mobile phone, which I then copied onto a computer, upon completion of which I will post onto my blog on the Internet. I take pics of my little one (and other things) on my mobile phone, which I upload to Facebook. I communicate with my bro, my gf and others via email, text and things. I watch TV and DVDs and play on my PlayStation (not much these days, but still occasionally). I catch a train to and from work five days a week. I work 35 hours a week at an office. Etc. Etc. And etc. So you see, a pretty big proportion of my life involves the reliance on external agents. Agents external to myself. Technology which I have little or no knowledge of the internal workings of, vast and complex social and economic systems, my employer, and so on. This does, on occasion, trouble me. How much real and direct control do I have over my life? What would I do if these agents broke down or their structures changed to an unacceptable degree? To what extent would I be able to “get by” in life, to be happy, to “provide for my family” and so on, if I had to rely on my own inner resources and skills and so on, outside the context of these agents? And furthermore, even without the breakdown or significant changes of these agents, how easy would it be for me, if I so choose, to live a more self-reliant lifestyle? I feel that increased self-reliance would lead to increased happiness. On this I shall therefore “think on”…

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