Imperfections, desire to overcome them make us human

Published 6:52 pm Friday, March 22, 2019

Human beings — by both definition and creation — are flawed; we were never meant to be perfect.

Our character flaws are numerous: pride, vanity, greed, dishonesty, anger and basically everything carved in stone on those commandments.

The refusal to acknowledge our weaknesses or put in the work to overcome them has always been the biggest stumbling block when it comes to our society reaching its greatest potential. These flaws may be what costs our community and future generations of children a better education, keeps new businesses from coming to town, keeps us always struggling to overcome mediocrity and many of the other negative components of the world in which we live.

Email newsletter signup

Much has been written and said over the years about personal character and human failings. From time to time, it is important to look to others for inspiration in helping us overcome our individual and communal challenges.

As always, I look to people smarter than me. Here are some words of wisdom that hopefully can help inspire.

“I, myself, am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions.” ― Augusten Burroughs, author

“I cling to my imperfection, as the very essence of my being.” — Anatole France, poet

“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”  — Theodore Roosevelt, 26th U.S. President

“Weak people see flaws in others where strong people see potential. What they really see is a part of themselves.” — Alexander Den Heijer, Dutch author

“Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.” — Confucius, Chinese philosopher

“Do not think of your faults, still less of other’s faults; look for what is good and strong, and try to imitate it. Your faults will drop off, like dead leaves, when their time comes.”

— John Ruskin, English art critic

“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” — John Wooden, basketball coach

“Everyone tries to define this thing called character.  It’s not hard.  Character is doing what’s right when nobody’s looking.” — Unknown

We must provide future generations with all the opportunities possible. Each of us owe it to ourselves so that we can look in the mirror and know that we are good human beings. This starts with realizing we aren’t perfect, but that we can always strive to be so.

We shouldn’t shortchange the future for selfish reasons.

We can all do our part, then sleep at night knowing we did all we could to build a more perfect future community because none of us achieve that ideal as individuals.

Michael Caldwell is publisher of The Advocate-Messenger and Danville Living magazine. He can be reached at (859) 469-6400 or by email at