Perfection is not merely a state of being.  It is also the action or process of improving something until it is faultless. The one is purely descriptive; the other is an active endeavour. But here’s the thing, both renditions are curiously misleading. Nothing is perfect.  Nor will it ever be. Yet people mistakenly assume that by some application of whatever they will be able to achieve that enigmatic result. I prefer to assess any concern regarding perfection by an examination of several factors other than what purports to be the obvious and discomposing imperfection. That is, the overall achievement of anyone or anything is calculable by reference not to minutiae but to substance. I am reminded of the quip, “You say to me, What is the answer?; and I say to you, What is the question?”

A timepiece for example may be off by seconds or even minutes each day.  If however the timepiece is a mechanical watch, it is understood that it will never attain the accuracy or so-called perfection of a battery-powered watch. In the industry this particular qualification is one at which the cognoscenti snap their collective fingers! What paramountly matters with a mechanical watch is by contrast that it betrays a hint of its organic nature rather than being clinically inanimate. This is not to suggest that within some contexts the ideal of impeccability is to be discarded. Medical instruments are characterized by a level of sublimity not usually attributed to less critical devices. But not everything is an ingredient of open-heart surgery.

Knowing when to differentiate the necessity of perfection is perhaps the key to handling the distinction. Certain attributes lend themselves to manipulation more than others. Some things are better left alone – the old “Don’t fix what ain’t broke!” adage. Between these two extremes is the further enquiry regarding the affect if any of amelioration.  The sad truth is that sometimes fussing with the contents can damage the box. It is this overall evaluation of the imperative which guides the decision about perfection.

Nor is the consternation solely about perfection.  It may become an artistic opinion about which there is no agreement. A woman’s beauty has forever been attributed to perfection. But there are many records of physical impurity which challenge that hallmark. In the minds of some the blemish or so-called “beauty mark” is the defining feature.

The debate about perfection is less manageable when the particular issue of concern doesn’t involve or invoke an arbitrary evaluation of appearance. If the obstruction or imperfection seems to have implications beyond its own narrow scope, then clearly the issue is “Does this matter?” Unfortunately the simplistic question disguises the complicated answer.  First, to whom does it matter?  That is easily assessed by removing any authenticity if it doesn’t matter to you.  Second, what does it matter?  This is more difficult; but it is nonetheless readily answered. If the imperfection palpably influences the well-being or necessity of anyone or anything else, then the question of its improvement is not ill-founded. But before leaping to that conclusion, one must also assess whether the insinuation of the strands of perfection into the whole will effectively contaminant the very thing we initially sought not to disturb.

Perfection I am convinced is a psychological product of insomnia. I find that if one is well-rested then the trifling inadequacies of life are far more tolerable for the reason that they evaporate. Make no mistake, many “issues” exist only in our mind. I won’t draw upon the “which came first” monotony to confuse the debate; but it is a legitimate enquiry whether the matter is worthy of examination if it exists only in our mind or otherwise. In essence, some things just don’t matter! Determining the answer to this uncertainty is perhaps more useful than getting on one’s horse and riding off in all directions.

Granted there is a disposition in some to move ahead with alacrity. This is not the traditional stimulus of sleep. A more tranquil operative is preferred. It may be appropriate to canvass who if anyone has anything to gain by the proposed alteration.  Within its more dynamic scope perfection has endless associates.  It is a well-worn commercial pretence. Similarly even within one’s private sphere one shouldn’t allow oneself to be lured by the shiny sham of perfection. I hate to say it but “Some things you just have to live with!