My wife is a very good lady but the world around her keeps upsetting her every now and then. However, the frequency is going down with the growth of wisdom. Once, she got upset over a matter, which was quite justified for a normal person but not for a truly wise one. While I took worldly care of her grievance, I was unhappy over her lack of wisdom in dealing with the situation. So sometime after the event, I sat with her and helped in her introspection. Fortunately she was responsive and I could convince her that there was no point in getting upset due to the imperfections of the world as it would continue to remain so. The only solution was to learn living perfectly in an imperfect world. Thereafter, I did some contemplation over the subject and this is what I am sharing here.
First of all I admit that it is not as simple as said. The imperfections of the world do upset us and we have all the justification to complain. Some complaints may even be helpful but surely one cannot make the world perfect. In fact, imperfection is necessary for the existence of the world. Even the creation of the world was the result of an imperfection. The word creation implies dynamism and there can be no dynamism without imbalance of forces which in turn means imperfection. In a state of perfection nothing will move and perhaps the world itself will cease to exist. So for the existence of the world, imperfection is necessary.
The purpose of this analysis is to make one accept the imperfectness of the world as a reality. This acceptance will itself help us not to get upset most of the time but surely the end objective is not achieved. This stage in essence implies tolerance of the world which is not a perfectly healthy stage. It points towards hidden anger which is an obstruction in one’s growth. A person with such an attitude will perhaps not be able to lessen the imperfections of the world. At best he will not add to them. There is also a possibility of his crossing the threshold limit in a more upsetting situation and thus taking him to the state of reaction from tolerance.
Now arises the question how to rise above the state of ‘tolerance’ which I would call the state of ‘acceptance’. Here the word ‘acceptance’ is not being used as something passive. In fact it indicates a state of extreme dynamism which means appearing static due to fast motion. To reach this state, one has to see that imperfectness of the world as an opportunity to make oneself perfect. So when you see a poor person, a feeling of sharing should develop. A person in distress should evoke compassion in you. An angry person should create a feeling of love. A person trying to harm you should be seen as ignorant. Outwardly we may behave in a worldly manner depending upon the situation, but within, the feeling should always be one of dynamic acceptance. If one is able to reach this state, he will never complain about the imperfectness of the world. On the other hand, he will silently contribute to lessen this imperfectness by making himself perfect. After all, the world is constituted of individuals and the imperfectness of the world is nothing but the sum-total of the imperfectness of individuals. So making oneself perfect automatically lessens the imperfectness of the world.
Next time you come across an imperfect situation, see it as an opportunity, for making yourself perfect. In this process your attitude towards those who upset you will change. You will then feel that such persons are like a ladder which helps you to rise above and to make you perfect. And living perfectly is the only option in this imperfect world.