FAR FROM PERFECT
by Rabbi Michoel Gourarie
I regularly attend your classes on personal growth. I really enjoyed the last series (Love and Discipline) when you clarified the strategies for self-control, positive discipline, compassion and effective communication.
So I was wondering. Does that mean that you have perfect relationships? Are you the ultimate spouse and model parent? Do you never lose your temper? Do you always exercise self-control? Do you always say the right thing every time? All that would really be amazing.
The short answer is no. I am not perfect nor do I wish to be. In the very beginning, G-d created many perfect beings called angels. Angels are G-dly, spiritual creations, each created with a special mission who always fulfill their purpose. While they serve as great models, they are definitely not the purpose of creation. The climax and purpose of the six days of creation was the final creature that G-d made - the human being.
By definition, the human being is imperfect. He/she will experience challenge, distraction, temptation and inner struggle. But that is the beauty of the human - someone who can work through challenge, overcome adversity, transform darkness into light and work through confusion to achieve clarity. The imperfections and the struggle of the human become the catalyst for growth and change. An angel remains stationary and static - a human grows, takes steps forward and reaches new heights every day.
The first step to successful growth is to understand the strategies and concepts in our mind. The more we reflect on the strategies of self-control, effective communication and healthy relationships the better the chance of successful implementation. However, many of the struggles remain and new challenges arise all the time. Human success is measured by the ability to change and improve every day, not by achieving perfection.
So I hope that revisiting these ideas each week has helped both of us to become better people. But there is still lots of work to do. I hope that I will see you at the next series and we will keep growing together.