By: Percival Longworth

It was the former hall of fame coach Vince Lombardi who said, “choose to pursue perfection. We won’t achieve it because perfection is impossible. But by pursuing perfection, we’ll achieve excellence.” Pursuing perfection is indeed a worthy goal, but Lombardi makes an important distinction we need to take note of. There are just over 300 million fellow Americans including kids, moms, dads, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, friends, and yes, enemies. But, to the coach’s main point, not one of them is perfect. That’s the benefit of being human. We get to try different things. We make mistakes. We stumble and sometimes fall. We get hurt, and we rise again. We keep learning not only in school, but also through our experiences. The simple fact is, you cannot succeed without first failing, just ask Miley Cyrus, Mark Zuckerberg, or Alicia Keys.

This principle holds true, especially in school. While you may feel as though some students in your class are perfect; for example, they hang with the right people, get better grades, appear to have perfect hair, or they may even have more friends than you; however, even picture-perfect classmates are not perfect. They too struggle. Just like everyone else, they have failings, things they’d like to change about themselves, acts they regret, things they’d like to hide, and ambitions that might make you question their sanity. The reality is that people are different, at least on the surface. We are fat, skinny, tall, short, walk funny, ride in wheelchairs, talk with funny accents, have different color skin and some are better looking than others. But on the inside, we are very much the same. Need confirmation? Just ask a classmate what they want their life to be and you’ll hear just how similar they are to you, or you are to them. Most everyone wants a good life, a good education, a decent job after graduation, lots of friends, a loving family and the opportunity to grow and to have a purpose. Remember, pursuing perfection is a worthwhile endeavor, but holding yourself up to perfection is entirely unrealistic. No one is perfect and that’s why life is so interesting.

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