Last year I was prompted to think about vulnerability, what it meant and its place in the existence of things. When we’re young we are told about the need to constantly strive for betterment and the consistent battle forward towards success. In most respects, when we think about this said success, we envision a product, entity or being that displays the positive end result of some unforeseeable toil. We conjure up an image of a person we deem to be successful and then compare our own lives to that model. In most cases it’s someone who we idolise, who in our minds has now reached ‘success’ and therefore has an enviable existence that we ourselves are constantly in the pursuit of.
What we forget as human beings is that, it always seems rosier from the outside looking in. Even though this person that we idolise has achieved that one element that we equate with life success, this does not automatically translate into an existence free from struggle and therefore utter perfection. In reality, we are chasing after something, towards a level of ‘perfection’ which in itself is realistically unattainable. The theory of that person living a blissful and trouble free way of life is a farce which is merely a socially created facade setting us on a never-ending pursuit towards an unfeasible outcome.
So why do we only present one aspect of our lives to society once we are deemed as being successful? I suppose it very much hinges on the ‘put your best foot forward’ approach. However, wouldn’t a society which is more conducive to peace, change and sustainability promote a more open and honest conversation on the elements upon which make us human?
Let’s face it, we are utterly imperfect beings and our true humanity rests on the ability to accept this fact and move forward despite it. What would happen if we were more open about saying ‘yes I am successful in this one area of my life, but I struggle in others too’? What if we were more honest about highlighting the things that we fear, more transparent in showing our vulnerabilities to the world? Surely, we would then at the very least be working towards a world where role models are known not just for their wins in life and success, but for the strength associated with their innate humanness as well.
By sharing our vulnerabilities does that make us appear weaker? Wouldn’t it be more so of the case that we were weak because we embarked on never-ending pursuits to hide those emotional scars? Surely, by showcasing that there is beauty, resilience and strength in vulnerability is a better investment in time than idol worshipping one side of someone’s life in isolation and thereby pushing generations towards an unattainable journey of attempting to achieve the life that even their role models are in absence of.