If we wait until we are ready, we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives.
For as long as I can remember, I have mentally (sometimes actually) corrected people’s grammar. I have used correction ink when I’ve made mistakes in my practical record. I have never struck out a word while writing with a pencil and always have an eraser handy. Every time I start a writing in a new notebook, I’ve tried my hardest not to make a single mistake on the first page. The desire to make as few mistakes as possible has been with me since childhood.
Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of editing for some important work at college. One of the documents had so many mistakes that after 10 minutes of opening it on my laptop, MS Word said it can’t display spelling and grammatical errors because there are too many to count. My heart sank, but I ploughed on regardless. Around the 20% mark, frustration began to build up inside me. When I reached 40%, I was ready to give up. At 60%, I did give up. I just skimmed through the rest of the document for glaringly obvious errors and closed it. When I got to the bottom, I was so tired that I fell asleep before my laptop could shut down with my light still on.
The point I’m trying to make with that little example is that we all know perfection is a distant dream that we as humans cannot achieve and yet we try. It is, after all, human to err. Aiming for perfection will get you as close as possible to it, but you will always fall short. However, there is such a thing as too many errors as well. All of what we write, type or say is for the sole purpose of communication. What is the point if there are so many errors that the other person can’t understand what you’re trying to say? I know a lot of people who use the SMS lingo frequently only to end up floundering while trying to write an official document. I’ve also seen perfectionists struggle to fit all that they want to say into 140 characters. Chasing perfection sounds like a good idea, but you do have to know where to draw the line and let those little mistakes go by.
Have a similar experience to share? Do you feel the need to correct mistakes when you or others around you make them? What is your opinion on perfection? The comment section is open for you to share your thoughts.