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Perks of Being Imperfect in a Perfection-obsessed World

Imperfection is turned into art using kintsugi
Shivani Choudhary
Shivani Choudhary | September 29, 2023 (Last update: September 29, 2023)

Shivani Choudhary, banker, affected by scoliosis, is enjoying her wabi-sabi in the world of perfection.

The world is obsessed with perfection. Everyone wants perfect looks, perfect results, perfect life. Even we are given examples of Gods like Lord Rama, Krishna etc. Every tale has Heroes as perfect as Gods. But, what is perfection and whether this perfection is achievable? How can we find perfection when even the air around us is not perfect?

Perfection is defined by society’s narrow perception. It is mostly based on outer appearance. So what people do is invest their energy in being perfect as per societal standards. But even those standards are not perfect and are changed from time to time.

Disabled people are taken as the epitome of imperfection. They are not the heroes of any tales but passing character. So what are the perks? Is it the reservation we have for education or jobs? Or the privilege of cutting queues? Or is it concession in transport fares etc.? Well, it is much more than these superficial things.

For PwDs the situation is totally different. Perfection is not in our lists. We do not have to face any questions about perfection because society has not included us in this mighty race. Phew! One less task to do. This is the real perk. Being disabled, we are not fooled by any outer appearance. It allows us to not waste energy on pretending to be perfect. Thus, we are a step ahead of others as we focus on other things that really matters for our dignified survival. Things that can really take us to our dreams, hopes etc. When we invest our energy in something, results will be extraordinary.

Usually, mere survival of PwDs is taken as God’s mercy. Their skills are some consolation given to them. While it is pure hard work & result of the time they invested in what could be made best out of them. People say they have turned their disability into a superpower. But it is not the case. Their superpower is the skill which they have practiced several thousand times. All of us have the same 24 hours but when we save time from being pretentious we can focus on our true selves.

There is a Japanese concept of wabi-sabi according to which Imperfection should be cherished because it is a part of ourselves. We should not shy away from ourselves. This acceptance saves emotional distress caused by the truth which appears when clouds of delusion disappear.

Yes, the disabled may lag behind some able-bodied ones who focus on their talents & skills but not all. Disabled have the advantage of being imperfect over others. They know that they have cracks. But they should believe in kintsugi (a Japanese art of joining broken artifacts with gold), and fill these cracks with gold of hard work.

Now, we should question ourselves that when you can fill the cracks with gold, why cry over broken pieces?

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