Would I Really Choose The Perfect Life?

The word “perfect” is the superlative superlative. In the grammatical world of comparatives and superlatives can we find a higher ranking description than “perfect”? It implies that its subject is free of all imperfections. As is the case with so many superlatives, “perfect” is overused to the extent that it is becoming ineffective. This means that “perfect” is just a filler word and not really describe flawlessness.

For example, I had decided to watch a storm chaser’s video about a tornado outbreak that took place in Alabama. As the narrator drove his vehicle closer to the funnel cloud, he excitedly described the phenomenon as perfect. He went on to say he had never seen such supercell perfection as was on display in that particular severe thunderstorm.

As I viewed the video, it was obvious that the tornado was creating much havoc by snapping trees, downing power lines, and smashing peoples’ homes and businesses to smithereens. I could not agree with the chaser’s judgment that the tornado was perfect. In truth, the tornado created a path of destruction from near Birmingham, Alabama to the State of Georgia. There were numerous injuries and some fatalities.

I get it. Severe thunderstorms are thrilling weather phenomenon. They trigger the outpouring of adrenalin in the endocrine systems of the viewers. Our planet’s most deadly weather storms inspire great excitement and fear. So, while the tornado might be judged as “perfect” that perfect storm was not good. It harmed the lives of thousands of people.

When we look at the dictionary definition of perfect, we find that the word describes its subject as lacking nothing essential, and that its subject is complete and whole. There are no blemishes nor defects of any kind. Perfect’s subject is complete and pure, through and through.

If we take the word “perfect” at face value and apply it to auspicious, positive, and valuable things, we find situations that we more commonly think of as beneficial and good. A common topic is the perfect life. Most of us yearn for a perfect life.

The perfect life is highly subjective. Would the perfect life for the storm chaser include spectacular manifestations of thunderstorms each and every day? Meanwhile, my vision of a perfect life would specify the total absence of severe storms and tornadoes altogether. To me, tornadoes and severe weather threaten my well-being and safety. Tornado warnings mean yet another instance of seeking safety in the basement, while hoping any tornado and hail bypass my city. I doubt that I would enjoy the lifestyle of a storm chaser.

This raises the questions: What is the perfect life? Would I choose to live it? These are conundrums, for sure. Would my scenario provide for every comfort and complete safety? Would every desire be available at my fingertips? At first glance, these seem to be wonderful aspects of living. Looking more closely, having everything I desire in complete safety would grow old rather quickly. Such a life would soon be boring. Instead of being heavenly, life would seem hellish.

The problem with yearning for the perfect life is that human beings are by nature, imperfect beings. So while we want to have and experience the perfect wardrobe, the perfect home, the perfect entertainment, the perfect life, we’re daydreaming.

This is unhealthy because absolute perfection is only an ideal fantasy. My concept of perfection may be the polar opposite of your ideal concept of perfection and vice versa. Right away, these states of mind create the groundwork for friction and disharmony.

Let’s just imagine, for the sake of argument, that by some stroke of luck and enlightened thinking, that I discover the foolproof, most ideal way to live. That perfect life could theoretically be mine simply by pushing the “yes” button. Would I choose to push it? At this stage of my life, I’m not really certain whether or not I’d push it.

Life would be more convenient if I pushed the button, but there would be something lacking about perfection–something basically human. In other words, if I could choose the perfect life, would I choose to do so, or would I choose the life I have right now?

Right now, this instant, I’m leaning towards not pushing the “yes” button. The life I’m living now is a reasonable balance between failures, stupid boo boos and some successes thrown in for good measure. Overall, I live a reasonably happy life. I don’t desire an easy life, but I do want to continue living an easy-going life. I like to have a few surprises and some challenges.

Neither the life of the storm-chaser, nor the life of the idealistic believer appeal to me. I’ve looked for perfection and evaluated ideals throughout my life. I’ve traveled paths to get to places I wanted and some paths that lead to nowhere. To paraphrase an old proverb, “Life is about the journey, not the destination.” I believe life is not only about where I’ve been and where I hope to be. I prefer to live how I am right now.

I’ve come to realize that the perfect life would imply the end of art, literature, poetry, and music because our arts spring from our imperfections and our yearnings. The greatest art comes about from our striving for perfection, not the attainment of it. So, in the real world, the perfect life would remain a variable ideal.

Personally, to answer the question, “Would I really choose the perfect life?” If push comes to shove, I don’t think so. I’m happy to live in this imperfect, hostile Universe, on this spinning, precarious Planet. I accept my fate as an imperfect human being, living an imperfect life, in an imperfect world.

Is there room for improvement? Yes. Such imperfection implies constantly learning and honing the art of living.

The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes actor, comedian, and musician, Bill Bailey. “I think happiness really happens when you least expect it: it’s when you’re not really thinking about it, when you’re not trying to achieve it, when you’re not trying to get the perfect holiday, the perfect life, the perfect body, the perfect existence.” 

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in Contemplation, Meanderings, philosophy and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Would I Really Choose The Perfect Life?

  1. No, lots of lows lately but wouldn’t change it.

  2. Very true. No matter how perfect, the grass is always greener somewhere else.

  3. Very well said. There is no universally-agreed upon perfect life and it simply isn’t achievable.

  4. Nice and interesting share Swabby. Chaos really feed through the veins of some people and turns them on, even at the cost of death, suffering and destruction.😞

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