Perfectionism

Posted on 27 May 2015

  • Some feminists are extremist, so we don’t have to stop being sexist.
  • Some religionists are extremist, so we can demand the elimination of their religion.
  • Some atheists are misogynistic, so we can ignore all their ideas.
  • Some animals have been known to be harmful, so it’s all right to wipe them all out.
  • Some cities don’t sensibly recycle the rubbish people have carefully sorted, so there’s no sense in us bothering with the extra effort.
  • Some unions have abused their power, so we shouldn’t bother with worker’s rights.
  • Some organics are still damaging the environment, so we can keep buying fruit and vegetables that are raised in an even more damaging manner cheaply at corporate supermarkets.

Black and white perfectionism is a flight from reason and responsibility. Grown ups accept that we live in an imperfect and nuanced world that doesn’t always have ready answers. Sometimes making things better is a long term process and you have to accept baby steps. But those baby steps must be made.

Judgemental cynicism is an issue, not the answer. It brings with it the excuses for apathy. It’s well worth remembering the adage, “If you aren’t part of the solution, then you are part of the problem.”

Let me see people get out of their cushy armchairs, out from behind their TVs and computers, and do something then tell me, “It’s all too hard.” And I want to see people stick with it for a few years, rather than turning up to one protest in the entirety of their lives then saying, “I protested for one hour of one day and nothing changed.”

And complaining it’s because everyone else is so awful is the height of narcissism. If you start talking with people, spending time with people, caring about people, things will change. But not when someone makes the choice to keep themselves in angry fearful isolation.

Become a bright light of kindness, gentleness, concern, and activism. Do not worry so much about how others are getting it wrong. Just focus on doing the best you know how. Time will demonstrate this is the most worthwhile path.

Peace and kindness,

Katherine


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