Friday, June 1, 2012

Perfectly Flawed

Do you ever stop in your tracks and wonder what actually divides a fully functional individual ("normal" to use a more common reference term) versus a completely dysfunctional, maladjusted, neurotic individual?  Oh, you don't?

Well neither do I. I don't really do a double-take. I do think about it on occasions when I engage in a favourite time-waster: people-watching.

I have just recently finished reading a couple of "comfort" books. (I rather refer to them as "comfort" paperbacks since these are the type of novels where there is no pressure whatsoever to finish them in one reading. You can actually continue reading through the book even after a week or so and still feel comfortable, since you have not missed any cliff-hanger or suspenseful episodes.)  Easy reading novels are however different from the HDI or DIY; aka How Do I and Do It Yourself types in essence because they are not idiot-proof. 

One of the more recent book I read was originally written in Japanese, Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami. A masterfully crafted, yet simple novel on relationships: with yourself, with others, with the world ... set in the radical '70's decade and before I disclose any further, I should say that the translation to English is pretty impressive. I was intrigued when I saw it on the book shelf; splashed on the cover of the book: NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE. Seriously? I never had the chance to see the movie. I had to look up "Norwegian Wood" and I found out it was one of those romantic poems of the Beatles, and has a pretty decent cult following.

My take from the book is more simplistic on the over all. I have heard or read somewhere, (that's what I always say when my sources are fuzzy) and I can be completely wrong; that besides Las Vegas, Japan holds the highest suicide rate. It could be a cultural nuance or perhaps even a norm. I can deduce the reasons can not be further from similar in these two locations. Arguably, the act of taking one's own life, regardless of country, is about the ability to manage (or the inability to) one's fears and dreams; talents and weaknesses;  brilliance and failures. The polarities are attendant in every human being. The capability to accept the imperfections and flaws and failures become the overriding differentiator.

Whilst most people I have met would curse at the roots of their upbringing, for instance, their family and their childhood years, I consider myself blessed to have been loved unconditionally. I grew up with an older brother, (am younger of only 2 kids), whose middle name might have been written in Latin, Summa Cum Laude. By the time my big bro graduated in high school, the medals (gold was rather cheap and ho-hum), citations and rewards he accumulated had to be displayed in the family's heirloom - a huge China cabinet replacing all the Japanese stoneware and Austrian crystals. 

My own achievements were proudly displayed too, at the bottom left corner. I had about 5 academic citations, all-in, in my entire lifetime in school. 3 of them I got in Second Grade and the other 2 medals in Third grade. I do have my own variety of trophies, certificates and ribbons on pep squads, sports teams, Speech and Drama, Singing, Dancing, in my own room.  But academics? I look back and I realized I was not perfect in school but I had a fabulous time getting educated.

Early on, living under the shadow of someone's relentless streak of success and accolades, I assimilated from my father a trait that has allowed me to rise above all my flaws. I learned to laugh. Even make people laugh without meaning to sometimes. Above all, I learned to laugh at myself, at my own limitations, my warts, my blemishes, including my scars and failures. I laughed my way till today. Oh hell am I perfectly flawed, but it is my very definition of myself. I would hate to be completely successful and unfailing, popular and loved and feared and famous and rich. There will be so little to rise above from and even if I do have all that, to laugh would be seen as to demean and to condescend. I would be deprived of my life's greatest gift. A sense of humour and laughter.

I have often wondered how anyone is able to transfer wit and humour or that perhaps, "laughing" should be part of any medical practitioner's regular prescription. I don't believe though that laughter can prevent death but wouldn't it be rad if people passed with a smile on their faces instead? (Unless of course, someone ate your face ... I just had to put that in) 

I guess the challenge is to have something to laugh about. If you are laughing alone lost in your own thoughts, it may not really be perceived as healthy. You see here, there is a large percent in the 7 billion species of humans walking this earth living their lives with absolutely no idea how to laugh out loud with total abandon. They probably did gurgle with laughter as infants or toddlers, but somewhere along the way between Kindergarten class and Middle School, they lost it.

Perhaps next to breathing, I will keep on laughing. If not, I would find every way humanly possible to have a reason to smile. Even if the Zombie Apocalypse (May 2011 post) has finally begun ... dun dun dunnnn... Check this out if you're not a wuss: Zombie Virus?


  1. Dear Petite, As usual your blog post was a particularly apt and appropriate one for me. I have had a very busy two weeks, with the absence of three of my call partners, extra work, and not time to even be with two of my visiting grandkids. But to come home and to find your blog meant a lot. So I would say, "Bring on the zombies, I'm now ready for 'em."

  2. it pleased me to hear you had a good childhood. it makes me so happy knowing that you have good memories :)

    as for books, i'm so damn slow at reading. i forget how people got in places in the book, so i have to back up until i can find something familiar!!




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