The Search for ‘Perfection’ in Potential
15-Sep-2016


One of the most common struggles that one faces today, in most aspects of life; whether academic, career based, personal or otherwise, is the continual partiality and judgement that is so fervently passed, based on the notion of ‘perfection’ as a synonymous replacement of potential. Whether one is from generation X, Y or Z: a fresh graduate, a college student, a supposed career ‘newbie’; the definition of potential has been distorted, overlooked, or often substituted by the very dubious definition of so-called ‘perfection’. 

For instance, if we take a workplace for example, more often than not, when an advertisement for a job vacancy is published, we find ourselves rolling our eyes at the phrase “a minimum of 5 years of experience required”. Indeed from a business perspective experience does build an effective and more productive output. However, how is one expected to build experience without being given the opportunity to display their potential or build that required experience? That brings me back to the topic at hand, where potential is now an understated and trivial matter. What matters is that one candidate that has it all; he or she may not have potential in terms of building upon excellence, but has the ‘perfect’ resume, the ‘perfect’ demeanour, and the ‘perfect’ exterior.  Alternatively, a hardworking, less experienced individual, willing to learn and to grow will more often than not be turned away based on the superficial belief of the ‘perfect candidate’ being one who is an expert and is seemingly skilled at the job with an abundance of experience. 

Unfortunately for this generation in particular, this belief may not be limited to a career oriented basis, but rather, we often see it in practice throughout our daily lives. On a general and majority based census, there are many occurrences where the concept of Potential vs. Perfection is closely tied to the age-long human error of Appearance vs. reality. For instance, at a candy store, a child would always reach out for the more colourful and brighter choice, rather than the potentially tastier one. At a restaurant, one would almost certainly choose the food dish that sounds or looks better in the menu than it tastes.  

Regardless of the actuality, every choice that is made is instantly dependant on appearance rather than what it may really be. An individual, an object or a situation is without a doubt judged intentionally or subconsciously based on their initial appearance or the pre-set description of ‘perfection’ which is imbedded  within our minds. Ultimately, we can blame it on human nature, or on social conduct, but irrespective of cause, our generation has become one that is constantly looking to feed the already fed, to grow what has already been grown, to educate those who are already educated and to choose what will always be chosen. The irrevocable truth is that we have become reliant on looking for perfection in a sea of potential.

 

The writer is an English Language Teacher at Al Wisam International School Bahrain 


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