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Nature Loves An Imperfect Parent

natureI love the way Nature stops its work and goes no further once it has reached the stage of Good Enough. That’s why we have scars, Nature is quite capable of continuing the job of healing to the point where there is no sign left of the injury but it chooses not to, it metaphorically rubs its hands and says ‘That’ll do’ and looks round for something else that needs attention.

It’s the same reason we are prone to back problems, and hips, knees and ankles give out on us. When we were evolving from four-legged creatures into upright bipeds evolution stopped at the point where we were good enough at standing, sitting and walking to warrant no further action. Nature thought ‘Hmm… not perfect, but it’ll do’ and moved on to something else.

Genetic selection has a way to go yet of course and the strong-backed may still inherit the earth, but the most superior physiological attributes are a result of a specific genetic combination at birth combined with favourable environmental factors such as good diet and a healthy childhood – in other words, luck. An accident, rather than Nature’s Plan.

The other thing that Nature does is adapt what’s already there – imperfect as it is – rather than start with the perfect set of constituent parts for the job (which don’t exist). So in other words, every part of our modern body and brain is a ‘kluge’. If you don’t know what that means, probably the most famous example of a kluge is the contraption put together by Mission Control at Houston to expel carbon dioxide from the crippled Apollo 13 spacecraft through a pre-existing vent, using only the materials that the astronauts would have to hand.

In the words of Mission Control Flight Director Gene Krantz: ‘You gotta adapt THAT to fit  into THAT using only THAT, THAT and THAT.’

That’s what Nature does, up there in Mission Control.

Makes you think doesn’t it?  Just goes to show how ridiculous it is to expect to be the perfect parent who produces perfect children. Not only impossible and unachievable but Against Nature.

Personally I think we should take our cues from Nature and spend a lot more time cheerily surveying the results of our efforts, giving ourselves a pat on the back and thinking ‘Hmmm. Not perfect but it’ll do.’

3 Responses

  1. Fiona
    | Reply

    I love it and am in complete agreement with this philosophy! Think you can use it in all walks of life (I do with my own line of work – fitness). Roll out the t-shirts – Am Good Enough….. 🙂

  2. Mummy Tries
    | Reply

    Totally with you on this. Often parents feel they are under so much pressure to be perfect but it makes them miserable because the notion of parenting perfection is a fallacy. I wrote this recently which sums it up for me: http://mummytries.wordpress.com/2013/08/08/the-pressure/

    Popping over from the Brit Mums #MBPW linky 🙂

    • Stephanie Davies-Arai
      | Reply

      Thanks for sharing this, totally agree with you. Far too much pressure on parents to get everything ‘right’ and then we pile the pressure on ourselves. And being a bit easier on ourselves is great modelling for our kids!

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