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Effortly Imperfect

How might a little less perfection lead you to more learning, joy, and growth?
A few years ago, I shared with Nashoba Brooks School’s Grade 8 students a few musings about the insidious concept of “effortless perfection” that was hitting the headlines. It persists. Too often, perfection is held up as a goal. From airbrushed photos to curated social media profiles, we hold up unnatural perceptions and unreasonable standards as things to strive for. What is stranger to me still is the concept that you should achieve this myth of perfection without letting anybody see you sweat. I am not sure who originally had this idea or coined the phrase of “effortless perfection,” but it has got to go. I encourage, perhaps implore, students to cast off the concept of effortlessly perfect and embrace instead the notion of “effortly imperfect.” [And, yes…I know that is grammatically imperfect, and I choose to embrace it.] Life is, by definition, imperfect. People around the world have known the value of imperfection for years. The Japanese embrace the beauty of imperfection with the concept of “wabi-sabi,” Persian rug makers include intentional imperfections in their handwoven works, and the African-American quilting tradition values asymmetrical designs as having the greatest beauty. Often it is the exceptions to patterns that yield some of the greatest discoveries in science and nature. A little imperfection can be a beautiful and powerful thing. When was the last time you embraced imperfection? How might a little less perfection lead you to more learning, joy, and growth?

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Situated on a beautiful 30-acre campus in historic Concord, Massachusetts, Nashoba Brooks School enrolls all genders in Preschool through Grade 3, and students identifying as girls in Grades 4 through 8. Nashoba Brooks is an independent school designed to build community, character, and confidence in its students.
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