wisdom and perfection Education Philosophy

The Absurdity of Perfectionism


Have you ever felt the pressure to be perfect in every aspect of your life? To have the perfect body, the perfect job, the perfect relationship, the perfect everything? It’s an all too common feeling in today’s world where social media portrays unattainable standards of perfection and Artificial Intelligence (AI) intimidates us with unprecedented levels of efficiency. But what if we challenged that notion? What if embracing our imperfections was the key to a more meaningful and fulfilling life?

The Theatre of the Absurd, a genre that emerged in the 1950s, provides an interesting perspective on this concept. Through the works of Samuel Beckett and Eugène Ionesco, renowned scholar and poet Ahmad Javaid explains that it is through our flaws and missteps that we can uncover new layers of meaning and purpose. In his online lectures on the Theatre of the Absurd, Javaid delves into how this genre challenged traditional theatre by portraying characters in absurd, illogical situations that reflected the chaotic nature of life. These situations highlight the characters’ inherent imperfections, offering a deeper exploration of the human condition. By embracing their flaws, the characters can discover new layers of meaning and purpose, leading to a deeper appreciation of life.

Embracing imperfections is not just limited to the theatre. It has real-world implications, especially in areas like education and AI. In education, students who break free from the constraints of traditional learning with a focus only on the right answers and embrace project-based learning allowing a trial-and-error situation, are able to learn in a more dynamic and engaging way, leading to a deeper love for learning and a greater sense of fulfilment. The concept of embracing imperfections can even be applied to the field of AI. As AI continues to advance, it is important to remember that it is not a fully perfect technology and that there will always be room for growth and improvement. For example, facial recognition systems have been criticised for their lack of accuracy and bias towards certain racial and gender groups. These flaws highlight the importance of embracing imperfections in the development of AI systems, as it leads to improvements in the data and algorithms used to train them.

But why is embracing our imperfections so important in our personal lives? For starters, it allows us to break free from the fear of failure. How often have you not pursued a passion or taken a risk because you were afraid of not being perfect? By embracing our imperfections and viewing failure as an opportunity for growth, we can overcome this fear and live life to the fullest. Think about it, some of the most successful people in the world are successful not because they never make mistakes but because they embrace their mistakes and use them as opportunities for growth. Steve Jobs, for example, was known for his relentless pursuit of innovation and willingness to take risks. He once said, “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.”

Embracing our imperfections also helps us build stronger relationships with others. When we hide our flaws and imperfections, we put up a facade that can be difficult to maintain and can lead to feelings of loneliness and disconnection. But when we are open and honest about our imperfections, we can connect with others on a deeper level and create more meaningful relationships. Moreover, embracing our imperfections allows us to cultivate a greater sense of self-awareness. When we accept our imperfections, we can acknowledge our strengths and weaknesses and use them to guide us towards our goals. This self-awareness can lead to a greater sense of personal growth and fulfilment.

Perfection is a myth, yet we spend our lives chasing it. In this age of technology, where machines are increasingly replacing humans, the pressure to be perfect is stronger than ever. But remember that Winston Churchill’s words ring truer than ever: “Perfection is an enemy of progress.” Embracing our imperfections allows us to break free from perfectionism’s absurdity and find beauty in the chaos of life.

Meet Najam Soharwardi, a Chevening Scholar and education advocate founded “Off The School” (OTS) to provide formal education to underserved communities. <a href="https://blog.offtheschool.io/team/najam-soharwardi/">Read More

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