Many people consider me to be odd because of my meditation practice. In fact, I think it has been central to my personal health and business focus. If nothing else, it helps me to slow down and take a measured reaction to events. It also helps to see from outside myself and understand my situation more quickly than if I take action first and think later.
One of my favorite meditations is on rocks or pebbles. I collect pebbles from beaches that I visit (and the occasional mountain top). And every once in awhile I collect a piece of coral or a sea shell.
All too often in life, we tend to think that things are not “beautiful” unless they are perfect. In fact, there’s research to show that human faces are considered more attractive if they are perfectly symmetrical.
But the real world is rarely filled with perfect symmetry.
About five years ago, a friend and I were in Australia and we saw a number of perfectly symmetrical trees. They were so perfect, they looked fake. We commented to each other that, if you drew one for an art class, the teacher would tell you to add some imperfections because no natural tree is that perfect.
At the same time, we all know that it is our imperfections – our uniqueness – that makes us who we are. It’s also what we find appealing in others. If you meet someone who looks like everyone else, talks like everyone else, and does what everyone else does, they are very forgettable. It’s the people who are a little different that you remember.
I love the coral in the photo above. When you examine the individual coral polyps, it’s easy to see the beauty and magnificence of these creatures that become huge reefs (and white sand beaches).
But click on the picture and look at the detail. You’ll see the broken parts. The imperfections. Those are also part of the coral. In fact, that’s where the story is. Did the weak area cause this piece of coral to break off more easily? If it was snapped off by a parrotfish, why wasn’t it ground into dust?
Perhaps we need to be a little kinder about imperfections, both in ourselves and in others. Perhaps we should focus on the interesting story. After all, perfection is a lot less interesting.