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Poem: “You Get Proud by Practicing”
Author: Laura Hershey

Analysis:

“Practice makes perfect” just doesn’t do it for some people. You can say it as much as you’d like, but in the end, you never want to practice. All you want to be is perfect, even when the word perfect doesn’t seem right. A dictionary will tell you that perfect is ideal, but we all know, especially me, that no one will ever be perfect. So why is it an ideal, if all a human can do is try?
A dictionary will tell you that perfect is pure, but pure will tell you that you’re free from anything different. Difference is what makes the world go round, and being different is who you are. If everyone in the world were perfect, they wouldn’t be different, so why try to be perfect, when there are so many exotic, new things to become? A dictionary will tell you that perfect is thorough, complete. What’s so flawless about being complete? Simple words like love and happiness already have their solidness and depth, so isn’t it beautiful enough? And if not, I once heard that two negatives make a positive. If you take two weak words, say, sky, and night, you can paint something wonderful, like the night sky.

Perfect is robotic. It isn’t us, it isn’t you. Why did they make such a confusing, unnecessary word anyway?

But a poem like this doesn’t say you have to practice to be perfect, or implies that you should do something, even if you don’t want to do it, because it’s smart or mandatory. It says that practicing makes us proud. After all, if you don’t want to practice, then what are you doing? Pick something new! And if someone or something, or multiple people and things keep you from doing so, you’re life will be “perfect”, which we had found out earlier, is boring, pure, and there are so many things that you can do. Practicing something that we love and cherish should make us proud, should make us something that we want to do, that we want to share. And if others share that passion, it becomes a challenge to do better, to try harder, because you want to be different, and not perfect. People, poor people in this world look at their bodies, their grades, their weaknesses, their whole lives like they should be perfect. That they should look like all the other people who have money, have strengths, have perfect grades and flawless, almost disturbing bodies. Meanwhile, they are showing more beauty by being themselves. And although there are all these morals, meanings, and rules on how to be a leader, those who instill such things say it because they are afraid of being someone that they want to be. A leader isn’t someone with all these fascinating characteristics, but someone who knows themselves well enough to be and choose who they are.

There isn’t such a thing as practicing who you are. You just are. Either you have green eyes or you don’t. But why does that matter? Perhaps these features are “perfect” in a way, because whether you have green or blue eyes, they are still the same color as the sea. And people, whether they are black, white, Indian, Russian, Jamaican, American, Mexican, or any other race, they all have eyes. Maybe not eyes that see, or at one point, they had eyes, and are now gone. But during that time, where they could see, even for just a second, their eyes’ hue, just like anyone else’s, reached deep into the depths of the sea and explored and understood something no one else could. And everyone took their own route even if they had the same colored eyes or the same interests, because everyone and everything is different.

But do you see? This ocean is only the eyes. The rest takes its adventure, practices what you want to do, because if you like what you do, and you keep working at it, then you will be able to be yourself. Even if you don’t like it at all the first time, you can still be glad you chose something else, or even be glad you tried it, which is what Laura Hershey describes in her poem.

Now doesn’t that just make you want to hate the word perfect?



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