The “Nobody’s Perfect” Rebuttal
The adult just simply needs to get rid of some cliches. As a child our parents may have told us that nobody’s perfect in order to console us after we did not measure up to our own standard. Back then, we did not have the control, the knowledge, or the ability that we now have as an adult. It is now as an adult, to realize that perfection is within our reach. Not perfection in symmetry and form, but human perfection the oxymoron of a better world.
Logical Fallacies to Overcome
Let us get a few logical fallacies out of the way first. Are you saying that nobody’s perfect because you are not perfect? You are not a lot of things. That does not mean that those things do not exist.
Or, are you saying that nobody’s perfect because you have not known a perfect person? You have not reviewed everyone in the world. It is a mistake to generalize.
Are you saying that nobody’s perfect because the person you are romantic with is not perfect? That is a personal issue not to be taken out on me. Perhaps the goal should be to support you lover’s perfection rather than give up on perfection completely.
Or, are you saying that everyone makes mistakes, and mistakes are proof of imperfection? Now, we get to the root of the problem. This is not just a logical fallacy. This is an unsustainable definition of human perfection. I challenge you to find a definition of human perfection not just perfection without mistake. Find a definition that incorporates what it means to be human.
One of the most fundamental realities about being human is that we can change. We take in information. We process new information. We apply that new information integrating it into our behavior, our knowledge base, and our abilities. You are fully within logic to state that my actions are not always perfect, but to say that I am not perfect is to only evaluate me on my actions in a singular moment. It is like saying that I am only my ability in one moment. You also risk unfairly evaluating me on an action that I do not have the skill or capacity to perform perfectly. But, that would not meet the definition of imperfection. That would be lack of practice.
Of course, your test seems valid because actions speak louder than words. A woman is as she does. Your action demonstrates your character. All these are true, but they describe behavior over time not just in one moment, not just one action.
I’m Perfect AND I Make Mistakes
You cannot judge human perfection in an instant unless you are willing to observe and appreciate the next moment. My test when I catch a student or my child doing something unsustainable is to ask if they recognize the long-term problem with the behavior. I ask if they need help. I invite them to work WITH me rather than attempt to convince me. If they show themselves to be open to help, no harm is done. Learning requires a lesson. If they defend against my help, if they become indignant to my inquiry, if they protest my interest, they resist the lesson and must face the consequences of the choice to isolate themselves.
I do not always have the right answers, but I own my wrong responses. I explore whether I am wrong in fact, or whether my wrongness is the result of your preference. Either way, I accept the lesson, and move to implement that learning at my next opportunity. That is human perfection!
I’m Perfect Because I Learn From Mistakes
“Nobody’s perfect” is too often used as an excuse to engage in self-deception. More than just unsustainable action, you resist the conviction to make more sustainable choices, dismissing guilt, and never engaging that unique human ability to grow and change toward a more sustainable existence. That is imperfection–stagnation. The opposite of human perfection is more akin to pride and vanity than it is akin to being without fault.
I’m Perfect Because Only Perfection Judges Me
Often, your denial of my perfection is admittance of your own guilt. Because you would like to assuage your guilt, you seek to relax my standards I set for myself. I refuse to be judged by such a poor standard.
My guilt serves its proper purpose, to motivate change in me. I refuse shame and the search to commiserate. I stand ready to be interrogated, to explain my intentions, and ask forgiveness when I have erred. If you can do the same, you are in a great position to encourage me to do the same.
Why Do I Care About Your Perfection?
You influence others by your actions. You also influence others through what you allow. I refuse to allow stagnation in my social circle. Grow and learn so that you can continually challenge me to grow and learn. The moment we feel we have learned it all, we lose.
Perfection is not knowing all. That’s omniscience. Perfection is not being everywhere when needed. That’s omnipresence. Perfection is not an ability to do everything.That’s omnipotence. Perfection is finding a way to be present in this moment. Perfection is deciding to be more of myself in the next moment than I was in the moment before, and all the while to inspire another to be more authentic in the next moment. Imagine a world characterized by this human perfection.
[Michael A. Wright is mentor, life coach, entrepreneur, curriculum specialist, and Owner/President of MAWMedia Group. His interests span behavioral health, family systems, and wealth creation. Follow @MAWMedia ]