In A Perfect World

I was living in a perfect, perfect world. Surrounded by a perfect landscape and perfectly imperfect people, I had the pleasure to learn about a perfect God at Young Life camp for an entire week. That perfect week felt like a second and forever all at once. Stripped of all means of communication to the real world, we were isolated in perfection centered all around us.
I didn’t quite miss my cell phone; I liked isolation. I was isolated from the stress of work, of familial problems, and of the obstacles I inevitably faced daily. I was a new me. A slightly more imperfectly perfect me. When my phone was given back to me, I was reluctant to see what had happened in the world while I was virtually absent.
Hesitantly, I checked the news. Hesitantly, I realized the real world is anything but perfect.
Top news story: The worst mass shooting in U.S. history and the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S soil since the attacks on 9/11 occurs in Orlando.
Next: Stanford swimmer receives a six month jail sentence for raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. As I compare the miniscule six month jail sentence to the average sentence of eight years according to the Ministry of Justice, I spot at the bottom of the article the rapist’s alarmingly fast swim times, which allegedly were what saved him 7.5 years in jail. His swimming times were prioritized over the destroyed life of another human being.
Also: Two shootings occur both 5-10 minutes from my home just a few days apart. My town was put into lockdown, and my neighbors were told to lock their doors and to stay inside all night until the active shooters were caught.
Those were just the beginning.
I check social media.
These events inspire outrage and violent political debate on social media. Cursing, cyberbullying, and threats flood my newsfeed. Tragedy began to turn my peers against each other.
Before I entered perfection, I was numb to the brokenness in the world. The strings in my heart were severed, incapable to be pulled. The compassion in my soul morphed into acceptance. It wasn’t until perfection and reality were inevitably contrasted that I realized truly how broken this world is.
I was fortunate enough to experience a perfect world. But it wasn’t the perfect world that aged my mindset, it was leaving it behind. I obtained a more aware and childish heart. Although I gratefully obtained a child’s awe and compassion, I obtained a wise soul- a soul that isn’t numb. A soul that grew 30 years in 30 seconds, one century in one moment.
The contrast between perfection and reality gave me a glimpse of what life could be; it gave me hope. The world is shattered these days- I now know that. But my new, optimistic brain now tells me that it doesn’t have to be.

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