I was leaving a store when I looked down on the freshly paved and painted parking lot, I saw this. It made me smile. I’m sure the person who worked so hard to get all the lines straight and each slot the correct distance apart had no idea that a leaf threw a monkey wrench into their perfect paint job. For the perfectionist this ‘flaw’ could make all the rest seem pointless. One mistake ruined everything.
I stood there for a few minutes and thought about all the grand schemes I have attempted over the years and the times one small mistake left me feeling deflated. I worked so hard to make it all work and one little thing made me feel like there was a kink in my armor. Then there is the other side of that coin. I thought about how the parking lot was actually much more interesting now; the leaf brought life to a bunch of white lines in a way that no one planned or could have anticipated. If I had seen it maybe others had enjoyed it as well. This mistake made things a bit more fun.
Let’s face it, none of us are perfect. I know for some of you that may be a shocker, but it’s true. No one is perfect. When we are able to face that AND understand that about others life seems to be much more pleasant and happy. We all make mistakes and how we react to them is really the telling point of our character. Do we get upset, or angry, pout, or even start all over? Do we sulk or cry, or vow never to do anything like this again? If we expect perfection from ourselves how in the world can anyone relate or navigate a relationship with us? No one can ever live up to the standard of perfect, which means no matter what they do they are always wrong. And who wants to live with, love, or be friends with someone like that?
It is our human frailties and mistakes that enable others to love us. Our flaws – as fatal as they may be – are what make us unique. Our flaws make us interesting and relatable. How we react to mistakes is also what demonstrates why is truly important to us. If we throw a fit over a single leaf getting in the way of our perfect paint job, then WOW! We have a warped sense of what is really important. We can’t control everything, nor can anyone else. Being able to admit our mistakes, face them with joy and learning, AND being able to do that in others can turn a leaf imprint in a parking lot into a simple work of art.
So here’s to imperfections. Hooray for mistakes and unforeseen circumstances that produce imaginative and amazing things. And best of all, let’s be thankful for dry leaves that get into the paint and create an image we will never forget.