By Ghanim al-Sulaiti
I’m a firm believer of the fact that ‘nobody’s perfect.’ That’s not because I’m looking for faults in others to somehow discredit them from amazing achievements, success or accomplishments, but instead because I realise that perfect has no standard definition. The very meaning of “perfect” differs depending on our own individual interpretations of what we consider perfect to be.
This week I received a message from a follower who told me he was trying his best to become “the perfect vegan like you, Ghanim” — and while I am both blessed to receive such a compliment, and also to have a platform to reach out to readers, to lecture at universities, to engage, discuss, debate, argue, teach, and explain about a subject, veganism, that I have committed my life to; let’s be very clear: I am not the ‘perfect’ vegan.
In fact, a universally recognised “perfect vegan” does not exist.
I consider my idea of the ‘perfect vegan’ as achievable, but only because perfect to me means flawed, real, human. Someone that has learnt from mistakes, or learnt from the lessons and teaching of others. I’ve seen a number of people I’d consider perfect human beings, and it is because of how much I know I can learn from them, and grow from them, and appreciate their authenticity.
This week I gave a lecture at Qatar University’s College of Pharmacy on maintaining healthy digestion through plant-based eating. The certified plant based nutritionist side of me served up the facts, stats and knowledge, answering questions and explaining how this part of the body can benefit from vegan foods. The other side to me, which I’ll refer to as just ‘me’ gave real-life examples of how I integrate those teachings into my day-to-day life, what I’ll drink, when I’ll eat, how many hours of sleep I’ll aim for, etc.
But even after everything I have discussed, not just at this lecture but at every lecture I have ever given, at every public speaking event, every conversation with my customers, and every column I have ever written here in the newspaper, I want you to know that as long as you can equip yourself with the knowledge and power of all things vegan— what works for me might not exactly work for you, but what works for you may be perfect for you, because the key part is that it works — so embrace your originality, and keep moving along your own path on your vegan journey. Mistakes will be made, and lessons will be learnt. But ‘Perfect’ is never a lifetime away, instead, it is right around the corner.
To an extent, we are all perfect, and we are all not — and that’s the beauty of it.
I often think there is an overwhelming amount of pressure people feel to jump from zero to one hundred without embarking on an authentic journey true to their goals. Instead, follow the urge you feel inside of you, that push to do the right thing, that urge to improve on becoming healthier, or following a plant based diet, and that’s what will transform you into a perfect person— that grows, learns, and adapts to new ideas, and keeps an open mind through it all. Keep going. .
The author is an expert in vegan wellbeing and health. Instagram handle: @Ghanim92
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