By Cindy, age 17, Texas
A teacher asks your class a question. You glance around and see no one's hand go up. A couple more seconds pass and everyone is still silent. You have a possible answer for the question but would rather keep quiet than get it wrong. The embarrassment in front of the class might be little but it's still there. You'd rather wait for someone else to answer than risk it.
Something as simple as debating whether to raise your hand and answer a question happens all the time to everyone. People might not voice it out loud, but plenty have come to think about it. It's the nagging thought in the back of our minds every time we come across one of those situations such as class participation.
With today's society, everyone strives to be perfect. No one wants to be wrong in front of anyone, but instead the one who knows something. Most people don't feel joy when they say something wrong. They probably should be proud of their efforts either way but it rarely happens that way.
If you look around, you'll see "perfection" everywhere. Celebrities are the most common in that pursuit and the public imitates them. What they probably don't know is that such pursuit is impossible. Just take a second and look up the word "perfect." You'll find that it means free from any flaws. Perhaps they already know what the word means but keep embarking on the unattainable journey.
I won't deny having strived for "perfect" in my life because I've probably done it both consciously and unconsciously. Just last week I started dwelling on my hair and wishing that it could be "perfect." It didn't seem like anything bad at the moment, but then I started obsessing over the issue. It sounds ridiculous, but I continued on, and eventually I was stressed. Out of anything I could be stressed about, it was my hair.
We might not notice it but each and every one of us has attempted "perfection." It's a human instinct, especially after we see models and celebrities plastered across magazine covers. But "perfection" comes with a cost, and slowly we'll harm ourselves if we keep aiming towards it. Stress might seem like a simple word but later on it can lead to insomnia, eating disorders, and other health issues.
The price of "perfection" is too high, and in the end it doesn't really exist. So maybe the next time you can just raise your hand and answer that question. Who cares if you get it wrong? At least you tried.