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  • steve richardson

WONKY ORANGES -THE ILLUSION OF PERFECTIONISM


Have you ever noticed, I’m sure you have, how if you visit the Supermarket there are various offerings for ‘wonky’ fruit and vegetables? It would seem that ‘wonky’, ‘misshapen’ or ‘weird-looking’ are bad. But I have to tell you I have an infinity for wonky stuff.


It isn’t pity that I feel, despite the fact that ‘wonky’ or ‘misshapen’ is not in fashion. As if, somehow, their quality checked, perfect brethren and sisters demanded of supermarkets and some consumers are in someway superior.


It’s as though I recognise myself, somewhat, in their ‘wonkiness’. The idea of perfection in anything, let alone fruit and vegetables, seems almost ludicrous. The wonky orange I had at lunch tasted beautiful. The wonky carrots and potatoes I get from the local farmer are, of course, fabulous. All are perfect in their imperfection and that is how nature rolls.


You may look at a sunflower and see blemishes and seeds missing, but do you dare ponder how amazing the sunflower is in its Fibonacci construction? Or for that matter, pine cones, pineapples and the humble cauliflower too? All mathematically, very clever.


The Blacksmith who hammers copper delights in the dappling he leaves behind with his hammer – they show quality: they demonstrate depth of knowledge, skill, patience and expertise.

The women of the Navaho tribe in North America, when they finish weaving a rug, they always leave an imperfect knot. They do this so that the Gods will not be angered by thinking that they too are trying to be perfect like the Gods.


And that is where the desire for perfection should be left. Somewhere in the sky or on Mount Olympus: just left to the Gods.


To be perfect, there must be wholesale agreement from everyone on the planet that you, your intelligence, looks, work, worth and life are perfect.


So, can I suggest, from my fully embraced ‘wonky orange’ position that you disown the imposter syndrome, lose the futility and fear of comparison, accept we are all work in progress, ditch the negative self-judgements and please, please - embrace your ‘wonkiness’ and all the beauty it brings.


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