Perfection amidst The Inverse Stopped Clock: Even a Genius Can be Wrong
You can be perfect! Agree or Disagree?
It was another hot Wednesday afternoon inside the wooden structure we called a classroom. I was in primary 5. The subject was Mathematics and we had just been introduced to the topic of “Simultaneous Equations”. Many of us could not even get around the very familiar “Change of Subject”, yet we had to process what seemed like 2 different change of subjects. The topic was taught; we were now to solve questions. Before I forget, Mathematics was taught by one of the best teachers we have ever had and some of my mates referred to him as the “Brilla”.
“This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” – Western Union internal memo, 1876
About 2 minutes into solving this “simultaneous equation”, my very good friend Eric, shouted to the hearing of both pupils and teacher – “Sir! The Question is wrong”. Indeed, the question as we later realized was wrong. The “Brilla” has just asked us to solve a wrong question. The “Brilla” is brilliant, but he is fallible too. He is after all not perfect, but he has tried to be and we loved him for that.
An inverse stopped clock refers to a situation in which someone who is usually logical, rational, or correct does or believes something idiotic or crazy. Also referred to as “Sometimes even geniuses make mistakes”, “Even Homer sometimes nods”, or the common phrase “Nobody’s perfect.” – Rational Wiki
We all want to be perfect in one way or the other. Some seek spiritual perfection, physical perfection, emotional perfection and even financial perfection. But is perfection really attainable? Yes, it is – but only in the abstract! Realistically, you would be chasing shadows if you chase perfection.
“The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys.” — Sir William Preece, Chief Engineer, British Post Office, 1878
Perfection is a state of full flawlessness; where everything is right, and nothing is wrong.
I however love the idea of perfection. In an effort to be perfect, we end up as better people. If there are no goals, then there is no need playing the game. Perfection as a target, can help us say and do things that push us more and more towards positivity and individual betterment. A human may never be fully satisfied, but he can move from one level of satisfaction to the other.
There will always be opinions about what we do, what we say and how we present things. People say what they feel about issues and recommend how things can be better. All these recommendations are geared towards making us better, making us perfect. But there comes the big question: “Can we accommodate all opinions”? Perfection here would not mean perfection there and half perfection or 9/10 perfection is not truly perfection!
“There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will.” – Albert Einstein, 1932
Even a Genius can be wrong, but that does not make him any less of a genius. Nobody is Perfect, but everyone can be better. Perfection may not be attainable, but happiness is. If you try to chase just perfection, you may never reach your destination; but if you choose to be an enhanced version of yourself every day, you may be an inch closer to perfection with the sunrise. You can savor how far you have come, work on your criticisms and be better. Be the best you can be today, but be better than you were yesterday! Easy right?
So I end with a simple question – You can be perfect, right?