2 comments on “Culture of Perfection

  1. You know, my high school experience was very similar and I responded very similarly. It’s a shame, too, because I think I could have done a lot of good if I had behaved differently.

    Anyway, I was just reading Alma 4 and 5 and it’s interesting to me that the Nephites were doing exactly this.

    Yea, he saw great inequality among the people, some lifting themselves up with their pride, despising others, turning their backs upon the needy and the naked and those who were hungry, and those who were athirst, and those who were sick and afflicted.

    It would almost be comforting to think this was limited to the physically and financially needy, but I have to think this applies spiritually, too. It seems like the root of the problem here is that sometimes we turn our backs on those that are spiritually needy, despite having been blessed richly by the Lord (most likely so that we could turn around and bless others.

    one of the rules is you can’t talk about your trials and struggles until AFTER they are over

    Have you ever noticed how you feel when somebody says something deeply personal in Sunday School or Sacrament Meeting? The place gets very quiet and I, personally, get uncomfortable. All of a sudden I have been thrust into the innermost part of this person’s life, without being asked. Instead of taking it like the compliment it is (that they trust us so much), I instead close off and almost cringe, mostly because I feel how I would feel if I were up there saying those things. Anyway, I think that has something to do with why we’re like that. I wish we weren’t, though.

    Finally, I think the solution to all this is seeing our ward members, and other people, too, as family. Understanding how truly related we all are and how we need not have pretensions with others. I think if we start trusting others, even if they don’t merit it, with our true thoughts and feelings, and take care of theirs, hopefully we’ll all come to support one another, instead of competing.

  2. like you said, there are always exceptions, and you can’t generalize. I grew up in Utah, felt more at home in Seattle as well. I was never great friends with the other girls in YW, but I liked being a loner. The kids I ate lunch with at school were the bad kids, but they weren’t really my friends either, and I didn’t care.
    I’ve never felt pressured to be blonde, to cook well, or to live up to other’s standards, though I agree that sometimes I can sense that pressure around me.
    One of my siblings attempted suicide in high school (he went goth afterwards) and another close relative accomplished it before I was born.
    So yeah, the social pressure is there.
    But you can’t generalize: Utah isn’t all like BYU, and not everyone at BYU is blonde. I purposely didn’t attend that school because I knew I wouldn’t feel good about myself.
    And I’m happy I grew up here, though I’m not sure what our decision will be about our kids.
    Whatever we decide, I’ll just teach them to be individuals.

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