“A good friend who points out our mistakes and imperfections and rebukes evil is to be respected as if he reveals a secret of hidden treasure.”
Each one of us has a distinct personality, a set mannerism, an almost predictable approach towards life, as well as individual choices in matters of daily living. Some of us live the lifestyle suitable for kings and queens whereas some others can only dream of such luxuries. Not only that, some of us command immense respect wherever we go whereas others invite only ridicule, mostly for no fault of their own, other than a minor imperfection. There appears to be a vast chasm that we can find almost everywhere around the world, not just in developing countries but equally quickly in the prosperous parts of the world as well. For all practical purposes, this divide is painfully deeper in the developed countries.
The purpose of this article is not to prompt every reader to become a philanthropist and focus on eradicating the troubles of the unfortunate. Instead, I invite you to identify the passage that can lead one to the so-called hidden treasure. Many possibilities are awaiting the determined on this route, including truth, empathy, honesty, dedication to the cause, attaining as much perfection as possible, and so on. Let us focus our energies on one of the least highlighted factors of human personality that most ‘Gurus’ conveniently forget to address. It is our innate desire to find faults with others for no rhyme or reason. When indulging in such an exercise we tend to feel some pride, but forget the vast amount of imperfections that we carry within us at all times, wherever we go.
The above quote from Lord Buddha teaches us the value of friendship based upon mutual betterment. Making friends is easy but finding a truly devoted friend that sincerely cares for us is extremely hard. In the Social Media world of modern-day society we all brag about thousands, hundreds of thousands, even millions of followers but come to think of it, are they your ‘friends’ in the real sense of the world. I beg to differ with all my might. A true friend is one who acts as a mirror that helps you identify and eliminate your shortcomings whether they pertain to your stinginess, your general conduct with others, your one-upmanship, foul language that has become a habit or numerous other traits in your personality.
A true friend is never there for the ride, to enjoy your lavish spending or to take advantage of your position. His sole aim is to help you shine like a diamond, and for that, he will not mind giving you the necessary cuts, no matter what it takes.
A true friend is never there for the ride, to enjoy your lavish spending or to take advantage of your position. His sole aim is to help you shine like a diamond, and for that, he will not mind giving you the necessary cuts, no matter what it takes. By polishing your personality, this individual will help you develop a fascinating character that draws accolades wherever you go. He helps eliminate your shortcomings that you may never even notice by yourself. Finding such a true friend is where the hidden treasure rests; keeping him forever is how you get to enjoy it!
John Dryden, the 17th-Century England’s first Poet Laureate gave us superbly befitting observation in the following words “None, none descends into himself, to find the secret imperfections of his mind; but everyone is eagle-eyed to see another’s faults and his deformity.” Almost four and a half centuries later, his words still ring true. The study of this particular subject reveals different reasons why we do that, and how complicated we make it for ourselves to identify the hidden imperfections within. We all know the power of our emotions how we can play them to get what we want from those in a position of authority.
Sometimes we identify our little success as luck whereas our failure becomes the other person’s rigid attitude. It is always easier to blame others for our faults. We expect others to respect us even when we show utter disregard to them for no valid reason. What would you call such an act, if not a biased view or an imperfection?
Many people have a knack for finding out typos in printed articles (and this one is no exception, I am sure.) Rather than paying attention to the message, they enjoy their pastime in finding faults with both the Author as well as the Editor. Such behavior, when repeated too often, becomes a trait, thereby depriving them of learning some valuable skills, insights, techniques, or news items that could help in real life.
A friend that helps us move away from such behavior is assisting unravel a hidden secret for us in all practical sense. Once we stop looking for others’ imperfections, the only other enjoyable pastime will be the appreciation of their perfection, their good deeds, and traits. Such a change will be the catalyst for gaining respect and forging stronger relations with those we meet. The changing trend will enable us to seek newer opportunities and experience growth.
“A true critic ought to dwell upon excellencies rather than imperfections, to discover the concealed beauties of a writer, and communicate to the world such things as are worth their observation.” –Joseph Addison, the 17th-Century English Essayist, Poet, Playwright and Politician gave us the above message. Critics are expected to be pragmatic in their approach and not to laying all their emphasis on the imperfections of their subjects. A good critic will help embellish the message and shall feel pride in bringing it out to the general public in all its glory.
The above quote reiterates the fact that wherever there are imperfections, we must also not fail to identify the hidden perfection. So long as we are keen to learn new things and make our life slightly better, there is hardly any remedy better than the one above – look for perfection in things you see and stop dwelling on the imperfect!
St. Augustine of Hippo gave us an important message: “This is the very perfection of a man, to find out his imperfections.” He was a Roman African, early Christian theologian and philosopher from Numidia whose writings influenced the development of Western Christianity and Western philosophy. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augustine_of_Hippo. Alas, we neglect the obvious and follow the frivolous!
Please allow me to admit one of my imperfections. It involves remembering names of some of the wise men and women that continue to enrich our lives through their deep-rooted messages in poems, essays, plays, and treatise. The next quote comes from one of those same personalities that I am at a loss to recollect. “Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.” Looking beyond the imperfections helps us demolish the imaginary walls of our conceited differences. Such a minor change in our behavior helps smoothen our conversation and build a lasting association that fosters creativity. Not only that, it gives us an immeasurable amount of happiness as we patch up any or all differences and embark upon the path of mutual growth.
TRY IT; WHO KNOWS YOU MIGHT LIKE IT!