I think it’s healthy to keep in mind that not everything is perfect and that everything has flaws.
Last week I discussed that, in an ideal world, Social Media should be a place of acceptance and empathy; it honestly has that power, it’s just more often than not it is abused. The thing is, whilst many of the flaws of Social Media are clearly malicious in nature (the sharing of hate speech, the spreading of fake news and rumour, to name a few), there are many problems that stem from a far less malicious source; sharing our good news.
Many of us who utilise Social Media do so to update about our days, we share photos or ‘check-in’, and we mainly do so when things are going well. We fill our Facebook pages with days spent with friends, of fond times with families, of news of promotions or holidays abroad. I call this a Highlight Reel, and have written about it before in Those “Perfect” Highlight Reels, and it’s unhealthy to compare our lives to. That Highlight Reel portrays that everything is going right for someone, but it fails to include the times things are going wrong. It’s like perfect white porcelain; unblemished and beautiful, but, in reality, quite fragile.
Recently, I’ve started to see cracks in my own life. Offline from Social Media, I’m happy to report I had a rather privileged upbringing. I never suffered much adversity, I did well in school, college, university, my parents remain married to this day and have always supported me throughout, and I never truly wanted for anything (to the extent of being spoiled, some would say). I’ve had, for all intents and purposes, a fairly perfect life.
Now though, whether because of our families current climate, or because my Mom opens up to my Fiancee more than me, or because I’m simply old enough to recognise, understand and deal with family drama… I’m finally starting to see the cracks. There’s nothing too major here, for which I’m thankful, and I certainly hold no candles to the drama of others, but there arestill blemishes; there’s still flaws to mar perfection.
So, why is this important? Why am I celebrating my families struggles?
Firstly, because perfection is daunting. When you have a seemingly perfect upbringing, it can be a lot to live up to and it can leave you feeling ungrateful if you’re not utilising that strong foundation as well as others would expect. This is where the Showreel comes in, that “Why can’t we do as well as those people?” mentality. Wesee the good times, we see the rewards, we’re oblivious to the hardship and the effort.
That’s the first reason. But more importantly…
It’s because perfection isn’t natural. My parents are human beings. My grandparents are human beings. My aunts and uncles, cousins, friends of friends, and long lost relatives, are all human beings. Human beings are all unique, no two are alike, but what we all share is that we have flaws. Its through flaws that I believe we come to respect people for who they truly are and it’s with adversity I think we truly value peoples success.
I know the drama hasn’t just surfaced now, there’s clearly been drama and hardship along the way, it’s just I was never privy to it; I was never old enough or my parents never wanted to burden me with it. In that way, it opens my eyes to think that the perfect life I had growing up must have been the product of so much hard work on their part. Of course, I always knew it was, but I was always blind to just how much they took on, how much effort they went to ensuring I never dealt with any of the fallout.
It’s sad that it took recent drama to truly open my eyes to this, but I am grateful my eyes are open none-the-less. I’m also grateful that I am now involved in the goings on of my family; it shows a level of responsibility, on my part, to keep the family unit cohesive. It means my parents now see me as, not just a child to protect, but as another human being who can return the support they’ve showed me. I am also grateful, eternally so, for my parents and my family. Gratitude, appreciating what we have, and appreciating those around us, is so incredibly important and I don’t practice it enough.