Monday, March 29, 2010

Wen Tzu - Verse 164

from Verse One Hundred Sixty-Four
Therefore when people are rich in virtue, one does not ask about the details of their conduct, and when people are highly praiseworthy, one does not criticize their minor affairs. Such is the human condition that there is no one who does not have some shortcoming...
~ Wen-tzu: Understanding the Mysteries ~
When I was a younger man and still under the vice grip of the Christian belief system, I used to tear myself apart each time I felt I had strayed from the path of Jesus. I had this unrealistic vision that people actually could lead perfect lives in which no mistakes were ever wrought.

Looking back, I now laugh at such ideas. I now realize it's impossible to live a perfect anything simply because no one knows what perfection would entail or if it ever existed. More importantly, the wise person grows BECAUSE of his or her mistakes, not in spite of them.

No matter how steadfast any of us are toward ourselves, family, community or beliefs, we each have shortcomings -- often several of them. But the measure of who we are is not concerned with such trivialities. If we each live our lives in an honest, open and virtuous way, that is what counts the most in the end.

This post is part of a series. For an introduction, go here.


  1. I think that is wise: to focus on the big picture so to say.

  2. i too am trying to get rid of the unrealistic ideal of perfection and simply accept myself for who i am. it's not easy when you constantly receive the message that you are "not worthy" growing up.


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