The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines the term perfection as “an exemplification of supreme excellence.” So, what exactly does that mean? When we flip over to the page containing supreme, we find the following definition: “highest in degree or quality : greatest or highest possible.” Similarly, looking up excellence yields a description of “an excellent or valuable quality.” We might infer from these words that perfection is more than what one sees on the surface, because it must also have depth and value.
The current state of the average American teenage girl saddens me a great deal. She puts endless energy into her physical and social appearance in hopes that she will receive a few crumbs of admiration from her social media peers. Note that I called them peers instead of friends, because they are most definitely not focused on the virtues of camaraderie and interpersonal trust. These young women haven’t been perfected; they have been systemically indoctrinated into the world that exists only for their exploitation.
Individual perfection was given another name by psychologist Abraham Maslow : self-actualization. Maslow created a “Hierarchy of Human Needs” to show what motivates people’s behavior. Only a few of us are functioning at the highest level of our human potential; conversely, we are more likely to remain stuck at one of the lower four levels. Only those who realize this will be able to move forward and find true happiness. When we realize this, we have found one of life’s secrets. When we actually reach the top, we learn that perfection is not only about us as individuals; rather, it is in helping others achieve excellence too.
Image Credit: McLeod, S. A. (2014). Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Retrieved from http://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html