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  • Atsuko

Finding Peace in the Imperfect World

Updated: Dec 28, 2023

Finding Peace in the Imperfect World. This was the theme of the meditation retreat I recently attended. Nice title. I didn’t give it much thought before I went.

During the Q&A session with the teachers, someone asked if it is wrong to be ambitious in social causes, such as to end child poverty or to achieve world peace ect. Discussion followed but soon digressed to something irrelevant. I was left to think on this while people somehow started to talk about veganism.

Imperfect world. Of course imperfect. It is not possible for the world to be perfect.

Then I realised the title ‘Finding Peace in the Imperfect World’ is all there is. There is nothing else to find in this life.

When my son was very small, we were in a shoe shop trying to buy a pair of shoes. The shop keeper fitted a few pairs but none of them were perfect fit, either too big or too small or just didn’t fit. Then my partner said, ‘Small children’s shoes only fit perfectly for one day because their feet are constantly growing and changing.’

So I gave up the idea of buying the perfectly fitted shoes and came home with ‘hopefully-soon -perfect –fitted-for-one-day shoes’.

The world is constantly changing. Even if you achieve a day when there is no war, it may change the next day. Even if you get a day when all the children in the world get fed, next day an earthquake may hit and thousands of people may become homeless, or locus may attack or war may break out.

Of course we are ambitious. We are aiming high. But we also need to know that this world is eternally imperfect. There will never be a day when no one is homeless. There will never be a day when no child is hungry. We need to make peace with it.

The nature of this reality is to change. Everything is fleeting and no moments are the same. Whereas the standards we have for goodness, righteousness, happiness and peace are steady. They have to be or how can we aim to attain anything? Thus the moment of perfection is brief. It’s here and it’s gone.

And yet, paradoxically, each moment is perfect because the changing nature of reality is perfect. Each moment of our lives is perfect, and so is the world. The great teachers say this and this is what we are so desperately wanting to realise in our own experiences.

Louise Hay said ‘A rose is always beautiful, always perfect, and ever changing. This is the way we are. We are always perfect wherever we are in life.’

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baby feet


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