Thoughts on Imperfections

The subject of imperfections has been on my mind for quite a long time due to work and gym challenges.  This has provided food for thought and of course, the thoughts on my mind have been largely questions of imperfection, flaws, faults and so forth.

We are not perfect beings, the lessons life has had for me in the last couple of years have been about recognising my own faults and trying to make an honest effort to address them.  It seems to me that there is so little genuine effort to do that in both public and private life, we are all so eager to cast stones that we ignore our own glass houses. The trainer for the group session I attended the other week made the point that most of the people they get there are full of excuses, reasons why they aren’t at fault.  This leads to the point I want to make that an honest effort to recognise our own flaws and faults can only lead to greater compassion and understanding of the flaws in others. So just as we develop our awareness of our own flaws and forgive ourselves, we build the capacity to forgive the flaws in others. The Buddha made the point that the being most worthy of your compassion is you, as the saying goes “charity starts at home”.

A person has both good and bad within them. So where a person may be loyal to their friends, kind to those less fortunate than themselves and honest; they may also hold extreme racist views. My argument is that these views don’t invalidate the person, they are just one part of a greater whole. We also probably know nothing of the pressures and stresses that the person is under, we know nothing of their personal history. The question is, do we write a person off because they have flaws or is it (as I feel) more appropriate to take a more subtle view, one that takes a compassionate account of the context of the whole person?

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