In Praise of Imperfection

By Louanne Learning · Feb 25, 2023 · ·
  1. In Praise of Imperfection

    Years ago, I read that, in some cultures, a vase that has been cracked and repaired is considered more beautiful than a perfect specimen. The imperfection tells a story of triumph. “I have suffered, but I have survived.” Battle scars are to be worn proudly. It’s the imperfection that adds depth to the piece.

    Imperfection is a lot more interesting than perfection. Otherwise, what would we gossip about? But seriously, what is perfectionism but an attempt to protect yourself from judgement? Pshaw on that. Humans have warts. Expect perfection from everyone, including yourself, and you will surely end up disappointed. Better the peace of acceptance. Embrace the imperfections, and know that we are all in the same boat. Flaws are universal.

    Imperfection made us who we are. It’s imperfection that produced the great diversity of life on this planet. Without mutations in the genetic material as it was passed down through the generations, we’d all still be like those first cells that assembled nearly four billion years ago. Thank goodness for all those mistakes in DNA! We are hardwired for error. Imperfection is our natural state.

    Mistakes add so much to our lives. I never met a mistake I did not learn from. Sure, mistakes sometimes hurt. All part of the human experience. Without imperfection, we would never know the healing power of forgiveness. If you ever say to yourself, I fucked up, put your arms around yourself and give yourself as much compassion as you would a dearly loved friend. Laugh if you can. Make amends if it is warranted. And always give yourself a break!

    As imperfect as it is, our best has to be good enough. After all, it’s the best we got. No-one can ask anymore from you. The only perfect thing in our existence is a newborn baby. Then we start to live, and all the messy stuff starts. Navigating the slings and arrows is not a precise science. But we make do with what we got, and it’s imperfection that pushes us to be even better.

    Without imperfection, what would we have to write about? Perfection is boring, and unchallenging, and not of this world. There is nothing to be gained by it. Imperfection lends itself to understanding. It reveals the complexities of being human. It makes us tolerable and indeed, in the long run, draws us closer together in our shared deficiencies.

    We love imperfect things. We feel a comfort in the familiarity.

    About Author

    Louanne Learning
    Just a regular gal with a lot of questions seeking answers.
    Set2Stun and Madman like this.


  1. Bruce Johnson
    There's the art of Kintsugi, which you may have been referencing:

    Kintsugi: The Art of Repair

    Edit: blog above is NOT mine.

    I had a character in my WIP discuss Kintsugi as a metaphor about relationships but there's nothing really original about that, although maybe the way they explain it is.

      Louanne Learning likes this.
  2. Louanne Learning
    OMG that's it! that must be what I read about so long ago. I tried to google it, but couldn't find the reference. Thank you so much for the link, that was a very interesting read. In my blog post, I emphasized that we are alike in being imperfect, but I like what the article had to say - that our imperfections make us unique!
      Bruce Johnson likes this.
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