What Really Matters

Orange yellow 1970 Karmann Ghia

Image by Still Unique Photography

The third in a series of essays about my relationship with my 1970 Karmann Ghia.

One valuable lesson I have learned from my Karmann Ghia is that perfection isn’t a requirement for love and acceptance. As I mentioned earlier, I had a vision of the kind of car I wanted – a red convertible Fiat sports car. However, the car I ended up with was nothing like that. It was a funky orange color, with no air conditioning, and two cracks in the dashboard. It had a big steering wheel and no power steering. Not only that, the trunk was in the front and the engine was in the back, which was unlike most other cars. Being a VW, it definitely didn’t have the prestige or class of a Fiat and it had the reputation of being a “poor man’s Porsche.” Simply stated, it was far from perfect. Although I could have chosen to see these imperfections as “defects of character” and used them to judge the car as “less than,” I didn’t. Instead, I saw some of these little flaws as wounds from childhood and felt compassion for my car. Others I viewed as unique physical traits that were just part of who my car was. The truth is, my car was in a league all its own, and I loved this about it. It was full of character, dependable, and unique which, I came to learn, mattered more to me than being perfect, red, and a Fiat

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