“No one is perfect. That’s why pencils have erasers.” – unknown

I recall when I was around 15 years old. I went into an Indian shop in upstate New York. I bought an exceptionally beautiful beaded hair clip. I still have it to this day. As I stood at the counter I remarked, “Oh, this looks perfect.” The shopkeeper corrected me. “No, it’s not perfect. We make a mistake by design. One bead is deliberately out of place. This is how we remind ourselves that only God is perfect.”

I’ve tried to keep this truth in my consciousness. I notice it comforts me. When I believe I’ve made a wrong action, an ill-timed or unnecessary comment; when I carry regret or failure, I find solace in this truth.

“Only God is perfect”

Yes, we have all have imperfections. Our crooked edges, our engaging quirks, our annoying mannerisms, are all parts of our makeup. The best we can do is examine ourselves, correct what seems possible to correct, and move on. We can work toward the highest and best version of ourselves but realize we’re works in progress. Being hard on ourselves has no benefit.

Watch the way you talk to yourself. Treat yourself with kindness. When you can be kind to yourself, you can be kind to others.

Can you share this with a child? Might you help them navigate their inevitable mistakes and imperfections?

Maybe it’s as straightforward as, “You don’t have to be perfect. No one is perfect.” You might include, “Only God is perfect.” “We all make mistakes. We learn and grow from our mistakes.”

And guess what? The process never stops.

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