I wouldn’t really want to be a paragon

perfection is stagnation

I have yearned to be exceptionally accomplished in the past. When I was a kid I wanted to be a heroine, or the best ballerina in the world. In my young adult years I wanted to excel at my job and move very high up the ladder, to be the big boss. But as I grew older, and suffered great challenges, just being happy with being fair, good or notable in many respects suits me fine. I now see being a paragon as a lonely position to be in, requiring too much pressure to either perform or maintain such a distinction. Even if it wouldn’t take too much pressure to be “on top”, there wouldn’t be much of a challenge left. I’ve grown to like challenges and continuous learning. I even relish my imperfections, as long as there aren’t too many.

I’m not going to say that I’d dislike people looking up to me, but I want to always be able to look up to someone else, too. I yearn for others’ support and guidance. If I was the best at something, where then do I go? Imperfection, to me, also brings relatability. I like to mock myself on occasion. It gives me a laugh, and others feel closer to me because of it. Or if I tease others in a friendly way, their self-esteem doesn’t get lowered if they know I, myself, am not flawless or regard myself as such. Imperfections bring on character. Perfection, in my opinion, does not in many respects.

I know that some people can be a paragon in some respects and not in others. I guess in these cases some may say you have a good balance between being the peak of exceptionality in one respect, but retain relatability in others. But still, being too known for a particular skill or quality seems to me to blur your other characteristics or accomplishments. I want to be known as a mix of varying levels of qualities, interests, and abilities.

In his book Anna Karenina, Russian author Leo Tolstoy wrote “If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content.”  I can understand his point. People sometimes put expectations on themselves that just aren’t attainable. I could see myself always seeing faults despite huge accomplishments. We sometimes see this among the very most accomplished people. Reaching and reaching higher can be a never ending task, and one that leads to frustration. Alternatively, if a person is very comfortable regarding themselves as perfect in some way, they may be viewed as narcissistic. That in itself counters the accomplishment with negative characteristics.

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