Billingsley’s bullets: Perfection escapes me

By From page A5 | August 07, 2013

Recently I sent the following note to my co-workers:

“Dear Co-worker: I am trying to determine when I will know that I am a perfect person. Please give me your opinion as to how I will know that my perfection has arrived.”

My co-workers forwarded the following replies:

“When I am perfect, you will be as well! Oh Lord, it’s gonna be a long, long wait. Don’t suggest holding your breath waiting for that to happen.” — Susie

“When Bob learns how to use computer e-mail, I will consider him perfect.” —Noel

“The Bible is very clear that perfection cannot be reached by man, but that only God is perfect in His love, justice and mercy.” — Jon

“I think of perfection as a state in which there is no awareness of anything, especially the act of judging perfection as though it were a point on a scale that can be arrived at or departed from. Given that, I’d have to say, you are probably there. Congratulations.” — Chris

“I think you were right about the halo. Since doughnuts are halo-shaped, they are evidence of your perfection.” — Krysten

“You will achieve perfection when you learn to spell “doughnut” instead of “do-nut.”— Mike

“Technically, everyone is already perfect but not aware of this. You’ll know you’re perfect when a round, golden ring appears over your head and you glow. I have never seen this phenomenon personally and suspect that all perfect people go elsewhere.” — Wendy

“There’s no such thing. Sorry to disappoint. Still, it’s a good idea for us to strive to be better. You’ll know you’ve “arrived” at being a better person when someone thanks you for all you’ve done for them (without prompting). – Patrick

Recently, my 9-year-old granddaughter spent a couple of days with us. At the beginning of the first day, I suggested she complete acts of kindness for the next few hours. Immediately, she started opening doors for people, picking up trash in the store parking lot, letting people in front of her at the check stand, etc., etc. By 6 p.m., she had completed 19 acts of kindness in the community and at our home. Congratulations, Vanessa!

Vanessa realized immediately what constituted an “act of kindness.” She quickly created her own acts and realized kindness occurs when you help out others.

When she asked about kindness, I told her that kindness could be a person’s religion, a way of life. I also told her kindness is contagious. The more you give, the more you get back.

The next time I see Vanessa, I will read her the following quote: “This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.” — The Dalai Lama.

Studies have demonstrated that kindness results in relaxation of the person doing kind acts and in a drop in blood pressure.

In one study, people’s brainwaves and blood pressure were measured before they left the building to do kind acts and retested when they returned. Kind acts resulted in stimulating the part of the brain that helps us to relax. Blood pressure went down after several acts of kindness.

So, kindness helps you, and the people receiving the kindness feel better. I recommend you consciously look for opportunities to be kind as often as possible.

When selecting a friend or potential spouse, check out their kindness energy. Select the people who enjoy getting outside themselves.

Bob Billingsley is an El Dorado Hills resident and biweekly columnist for the Mountain Democrat.

Bob Billingsley


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