06 January 2012

Real is better than perfect.

Today I saw someone put this quote up, as if it is good advice:
"Pretend to be completely in control and people will assume that you are."
Steve Jobs
But I think it is terrible advice. I think this is exactly what is wrong with the world and all of us. I've made that mistake (many times) and I know it is nothing but pride and fear that makes us pretend.

I can't count the number of times when the smallness of humanity--our weakness, neediness, lack of understanding, ability, resources--has stunned and humbled me. Not because it is sad and terrifying, though at times it is that too, but because it is magnificent. Because it is incredible that, in all our silly, weak ways, we manage to make it through. We overcome and we survive.

It's a miracle. Life is a miracle. And when we pretend that we are "completely in control," that we have it all together, that we don't need each other and God and help every day and every moment, not only are we faking and lying and deceiving ourselves and each other, but we are diminishing the beauty of our successes. We belittle those pieces joy and love and perfection that pass through our lives to make them worth living, despite the fact that we don't have it together and we're not in control. None of us. We need help. We need each other. And I think there is nothing more beautiful in this world than recognizing our own littleness and loving it. Accepting help when we need it and offering to others what we have in abundance to give. We all lack something. But we all have gifts too. I think we've lost touch of that in the world--the fact that we need to exchange and share--that no one can have it all on his or her own, but that we benefit from others and that everyone has something important to give. The more we try to pretend that we're fine on our own, the more we lose out on sharing and receiving from one another. And that's a pity.

So I will tell you now, and always, I don't have it all figured out. I don't have everything completely under control. I don't understand so many things, so many more things than I do understand. I need help and love and blessings. And it is my greatest desire to offer some small benefit to another person; to lift, to aid, to touch, to bless another life. Because life is so much more beautiful when you're in it together with someone(s). For me, that's whole point.


marissa said...

this is lovely. and so are you.

Jamie said...

"Real is better than perfect" is a theme to two great Woody Allen movies: "The Purple Rose of Cairo" and "Midnight in Paris." (And possibly "Alice" also.) Great post.
- From Joel Ackerman, Jamie's husband