Blog 1679 – 04.26.2020
Perfect With Our Imperfection
It is a sad old story about folks who say they want to create a perfect world order. I have, the last several days being mostly secluded at home waiting the all clear back to work signal, been binge watching Amazon Prime Video’s, The Man In The High Castle. In the story it is 1962 and the two supposed super races the Germans and the Japanese have won World War Two and each occupy large parts of the U.S. with a mountainous Neutral Zone between them extending down to Mexico, Central, and South America, they too, free neutral zones.
Fascism, Communism, and the radial fundamentalist in many religions all strive for lives dedicated to the idealized cause of personal and societal perfection. The actions perpetrated by these so-called “true-believers” are often horrendous and inexcusable, involving cruelties almost beyond imagination all aimed at purifying a supposed super race of all the degenerates, the defectives, the disabled, and the imperfect people.
But who are these perfect people whose vision is of a chosen super race perfecting the world? They are people who worship a person believing him to be the only true and perfect leader and they his children. They are willing to gladly lay down their lives for him and his agenda which whatever the last name of his particular empire is always preceding with “Greater” i.e. Greater Germany, Greater Japan, even the Greater United States, the Greater British Empire, etc.
There are sometimes subtle differences making one or the other Empire preferable to the others. Case in point the Japanese artistic culture versus the German efficient technology culture. Though both cultures were xenophobic, had a worshipped as divine leader, and taught the greater good was always the group and that all other than the leader were but drops in his ocean, the Japanese artist had learned to see imperfection as a true part of art, scars and flaws as badges of beauty, while the Germans scientists believed in purging the the halt, the lame, physical and mental, and removing all who did not measure up to their vision of a super race of men occupying the entire world and subduing it in the end with technology.
Democracy is messy and imperfect as are most people with ideas and edges that never seem to fit perfectly together. Many if not all of the great love matches are like that too requiring continuous give and take, tolerance and compromise to stay together, the result though seldom if ever “greater” almost always is “better together than apart.”
As a young man I left home to go half way around the world believing I was serving my country. It was a foolish war, most if not all are, where we thought we were fighting for peace (an oxymoron) and a perfect world (an illusion) but were really just fighting for the rich to get richer and the poor dead or poorer. That is the end result of most wars whatever noble and patriotic words are spouted. We and those brothers we believed to be our enemies did terrible things to one another in the hope that a good ending would justify the means, it rarely if ever does. If we continue to act like monsters we become monsters. The winners always claim to be divinely right no matter how wrong they have acted.
In several fine children’s books I have read or re-read lately we are taught not only to accept our weaknesses and imperfection and those of others but to honor and celebrate them. We are taught to see them as Mrs. Whatsit in Madeline L’Engles Classic, A Wrinkle in Time, does Meg’s faults when she offers “The gift I give you is your faults.” It is our very weaknesses that are our greatest, best strengths. The rich, the, powerful, even the scientific, and the religious often see emotions like love and compassion as weaknesses when the truth, as I see it, is that these are our greatest strengths and our only hope of realizing the greatest good for each and all.
I echo the words of an old love song, “If loving you is wrong, I don’t want to be right.” Sometime ago I realized that being happy is far more important than being right and that our best and highest perfection is to be found in our imperfections. “We have this treasure in cracked, imperfect vessels that the excellency of our light might shine forth through the cracks in all its divinity.”
Your friend and fellow traveler,