Category Archives: Paulo Coelho

Perfectly Flawed People

 This was first posted here, but we felt there would be no harm and posting it on this blog too.


You know how you are happily having a bath in the night and then, the power goes off. You have three options.

Stop bathing, stand/sit still and wait for the power to get back on
Look for your towel, hopefully cover your self and go find a candle
Take a risk, complete your bath in the dark

I always go with the third option. It’s risky, let me tell you that. Having used the office washroom without a properly working light at least five times, I can be considered an expert on the issue. I’ve had to use… umm… a petrol shed bathroom and the only light I got was from a phone, which I tried not to drop anywhere.

So what happens is that you’ve used that same old bathroom, with the same old floor plan for years, and you think you can figure it all out blindfolded. But as soon as there’s no light, your mind forgets where the fixtures were. So you try not to slip, because we all know that falling in the bathroom is utterly painful. And you look for soap and try to turn on the shower again. Then you find your towel, and wipe your self dry.

And then! The biggest challenge, getting into your clothes. Which in the dark is as complicated, exhausting and frustrating as trying to buy food from a crowded food truck!

However, having a bath in the dark does a lot of revealing. Not the kind of revealing any bath does. But being stripped off a sense you abuse and you never appreciate, makes you realize how simple life is, but how we complicate everything.

And darkness in general reveals.

I’ve spent the night at my cousins maybe three or four times. And on all those times, we’ve stayed up, way after we turned off the lights, chatting. Somehow we could be more honest with each other when we saw nothing. We would talk for hours, laughing at the lamest things, or sharing secrets with each other.

However, this post isn’t about sitting in the dark.

It’s about who we really are. I was once told there are no good people. Or bad people. You have people and they do various things that may make them seem like good people or bad people. But your actions can’t define you. In law, the wording of a law is very important. What is theft, what is trespass, what is malicious, what is a wound… So assault occasioning ABH could be merely touching someone without their consent. But the more serious offense includes wounding, which is an injury that cuts through all layers of the skin, and GBH. So putting aside the legal jargon, words are important.

If you take a good person, it means he does good. But can’t a good man do bad things too? Say I’m classified as a good person, does that mean I would never ever lie?

“So you see, Good and Evil have the same face; it all depends on when they cross the path of each individual human being.”
― Paulo Coelho,
The Devil and Miss Prym

So there are no good people or bad people. Just people, who are so flawed, but are so beautifully flawed. Now you are thinking, “OMG! Shailee is such a weirdo, calling her self beautiful.” I don’t mean the perfect eyes, or nose, or figure and so on. I mean that our imperfections make us all beautiful and unique.

Now imagine if we had no flaws. We wouldn’t just have somethings in common, we would have everything in common. We would be clones of this one person, and we wouldn’t know one person from another. But we have all these flaws which stop us from being ‘perfect’ and sometimes we spend too long trying to perfect our selves. We worry about our imperfections that we forget to live, we don’t see the beauty in our selves.

Admitting you are a flawed human being, leads to identifying and accepting these flaws. You work on them, and improve your self, you improve your identity.

There’s another important thing to do. When you admit you are a flawed human being, you can overlook the flaws in other people. We see the flaws of other people before we see our own flaws. And we let these flaws get to us, we let them choose who we like and don’t like. But we should accept the flaws of other people. Not only because that’s who they are and that’s what makes them unique. We should accept the flaws of other people because we too are flawed. And together we are all flawed but beautiful human beings. We are imperfect but unique human beings.

And I know that I’m the worst person to be saying this. Sure, I accept I’m flawed and I accept that other people are flawed. And I do try my best to overlook the flaws of other people. But at some point the flaws get to me, and I tend to let these flaws decide the future of our friendship. Which is bad, but maybe that’s my flaw. But I’m friends with people who I rarely agree with, who I have very little in common with. So I do overlook those flaws that nag me. Just not with everyone 🙂