What is it to be perfect? What is perfection? How can a word so common amongst the masses of people be also understood by some to be referring to that which does not exist?
Of course perfection exists. My mom is perfect. My dad too. And other things are perfect as well, like my favorite meal. But wait, how can my parents be perfect at the same time as when I, at times, see other parents and I would wish my parents were like them? Well, my favorite meal is that which my mom makes, and is definitely perfect–at least when my mom makes it. Yet what if I find that my best friend’s mom makes it better? Or even more radically, what if I find out that sushi tastes a thousand times better than that which I consider perfect, and is my favorite meal? Then in that case, my perfect meal would no longer be perfect; I would have discovered that which is more perfect. And so too my parents: no matter how many particular characteristics I would want my parents to have, each time they acquired one, I’d still find myself thinking that other parents have at least one more characteristic that makes them more perfect.
This notion that the measurement of perfection is constantly changing, I find specifically interesting. Even if we reach that level which we had labeled as being perfect, we reach it and do not end up finding perfection. Let us consider an example. Suppose that my girlfriend asks me about my opinion with regards to her body. I respond by saying “if you lose two pounds, you will be perfect.” Now, suppose that my girlfriend lost those two pounds and some time later approaches me with the same question, but this time I reply saying that her body is amazing, but she needs to work on her butt. So, what has happened here?
I claim that we create the state of what we call “perfection” when we recognize that something could improve, or could change to the “better.” In other words, when I tell my girlfriend that losing two pounds would lead her to having the perfect body, I thereby create a mirage of perfection. An illusory state of affairs that is never really attained. Because once my girlfriend has dropped those two pounds, I would want her to work on her butt, for that would lead her to be more perfect.
So what can we do? How can we perceive this notion of perfection? I suggest that we need to refine our notion of what perfection is. The obvious issue here is the mirage. We would have to create a notion of perfection that cannot be altered by a change in state of affairs. So to use my previous example, my girlfriend is good enough the way she is now–her weight is perfect. Dropping two pounds would not make her perfect; dropping two pounds would rather place me in a position where I start to look for other things that would make her perfect. But there remains to know the difference between that which is perfect, and that which is good enough. I don’t know whether or not such a difference exists, but I do know that something that is not sustainable cannot be perfect.
Behind closed doors
Behind every closed door is a story, some of its chapters are happy and others are sad. The heroes are familiar people, might be a friend or an acquaintance. Most of the times, those stories are left untold, because who would speak about family issues?
Within those closed doors are another closed one, where a person suffers silently from these issues. But when morning comes, that person wakes up, opens the closed door and walks out of it, like nothing is wrong.
Those are the strongest people, who manage to leave their troubles behind the closed doors. The kind who can still listen to your problems without disparaging them, they listen even when they have got troubles on their own. They care and they never belittle anyone’s ache because they know quite well what it feels like to suffer in silence.
Behind closed doors are secrets that people exert so much effort to keep them tucked inside, to keep those aches and sufferings hidden away from people.
This is why, always be gentle with people; because you will never know their stories, their sorrows, their pain. And when someone opens the door to you and allows you in, help them clear the mess, replace the aches with comfort and help create a safer haven for them. Because trust me when I tell you that it’s never easy for someone to share the things that happen behind closed doors, it’s never easy for strong people to admit that they need help after living independently for years.
I know that when they open up, they’ll seem so sad to you, so broken and damaged. But they weren’t always like this. They had light in them that is now dimmed with all the issues they face, and all they need is someone who understands, to be there for them, to help bring out the light.
So be patient with the broken, don’t give up on them; because they have only come this way after giving out pieces of themselves to all those in need for comfort, a word of advice, or even a shoulder to lean on.
Anti-bullying starts from home
Recently, a video of a girl being made to walk to school in a freezing temperature, has provoked a debate on parenting. The walk was a part of her punishment for bullying a kid on the bus, the video was filmed by her father who followed her in his car.
Ten-year old Kristen was reported for bullying a kid on the school bus for the second time and thus got denied from riding the bus, when she asked her father to give her a ride to school, that was when he decided that enough is enough. And decided to punish her by making her walk 5 miles to school, and of course for security measures, he drove along with her and filmed her walk.
Matt, the father, while filming his daughter, explained the incident then added: “A lot of children today feel that the things their parents do for them is a right and not a privilege, such as parents taking their children to school in the morning or even bus rides to school.”
The video of course then created an ethical dilemma, and with a 15 million times view, the comments were more than 62 thousands! some of which praised his act and others believed that this is fighting bullying by bullying.
Now you might also not agree with his method, but let’s take the experience to Egypt and think thoroughly. Many parents hate to believe that their kids are wrong, when a parent is asked to come to school, they are quick to defend their children and justifying their actions. Others are quick to take action and punish their kids without hearing them out, which creates a gap between them and their children.
The father’s method might not appeal to all parents, but at least an action was taken and a lesson was learned, the kid would have never really learned the consequences of her actions if she was simply been given another ride for school.
We blame children for bullying and we really never understood why, what triggered such a behavior?
Teach your children to love and accept everyone, that what they have got better than others in life is a privilege and not a right, something they should feel grateful for. Teach them that it’s okay to say sorry, that it has nothing to do with their ego.
Support and tough love start from home, valued lesson on how to love and accept people start from home. The values they acquire in their early years stick with them for a lifetime, I have grown friends who don’t apologize because saying sorry hurts their ego. I have friends who look poorly at others because they weren’t given the same opportunities in life.
And I have friends who were raised to earn the privileges given to them, who were raised on certain values and treat people equally. Some do it unconsciously because they attained these values from simply watching their parents do it, and those people are the best, so raise more of them.
XX >= XY
Whether one wishes to call it patriarchy, or even Smelly-Feet Land. It is clear that one cannot deny that we today live in a world where man has privilege. Woman, as it were, is constantly second to man. It is of course okay to be second, but only insofar as both parties are given equal basic privilege, which is evidently not the case among man and woman. As for those who are skeptical of the above-mentioned claims, I invite you to take a careful look at the annual statistics of women’s salaries and compare them to those of men–wherein they both have the same privilege, that is, same position in the workplace. Or as a much simpler example, try to recall the last piece of text you’ve read and take a look at the pronouns presented therein. Can you find the pronoun “she”? The answer is not likely.
I am not interested in the causes of such state of being of a society. What interests me the most are the subtle notions. Notions which, on the outside, seem very regular and supportive toward women, but are less explicitly not only undermining, but also affirmative of the patriarchal structure, and even more powerful and impactful than those which are more explicit. Let us consider a couple of examples.
- Dick and Jane are very good friends. They have known each other for a couple of years. When Dick is not hanging out with his friends (who are gameholics and have absolutely no social life), he likes to go read with Jane at their favorite coffeeshop (don’t worry, they won’t end up dating–Jane is a Lesbian). Every time they go to the coffeeshop, Dick, like the gentleman he is, would open the door for Jane, thereby allowing her to enter first. But this is where we are mistaken: the fact that Dick opened the door for Jane is less a sign of respect, but more so a reaffirmation of the status quo. Dick is confirming to himself, and to Jane that he has privilege. We should not create this difference. It should not matter who enters first.
- Jane is facing a very difficult time at work. Her boss won’t send her to report on an important story. He instead sent her male colleague. Jane she comes to speak with the one person she trusts: Dick. Jane explains her problem and confesses that she feels frustrated and does not know if she could handle it. Dick replies by saying “don’t worry about it, Jane. You can do it–you have the power.” Dick here, though saying she could do it, has implicitly confirmed to himself, and to Jane that he is, as a man, far more superior. He should’ve said something like “try again, Jane.” Jane would have wanted Dick to support her in that way, and to show her that he is aware that the male colleague has privilege.
It is these subtle notions that I consider far more dangerous and impactful. We should be aware of them and work on refining them.
Time to step in!
Mo Salah strikes again!
Behind closed doors
Anti-bullying starts from home
Small talents’ art work make it to an exhibition in Galleria40’
The Romantic Notion: Time To Let Go of Romanticism
El-Deif makes Egypt proud at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival
Rami Malek, Egypt’s pride and joy!
The Egyptian Film ‘Photocopy” makes it to London
Small talents’ art work make it to an exhibition in Galleria40’
A fierce competition and a hard call to make!
Salah catches Carthage Eagles, snatches late victory for Egypt
The Cool, Funny, And Entrepreneur Ramez Youssef
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