Kintsugi

The Japanese art of embracing damage.

The idea originally started in the 15th century, when Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa sent a damaged Chinese bowl back to China for repairs. When Yoshimasa’s favorite bowl was returned, he opened the package to find that the bowl had been put back together with metal staples. Yoshimasa asked his craftsmen if they could do better. And sure enough, a new art was formed when gold seams were used to repair the broken pieces of pottery.

(The practice became so popular that some collectors were intentionally breaking valuable works of art just so they could repair it.)

Today, we have unfortunately become a society of disposables. As soon as something breaks, we throw it away. As soon as something wears out, we throw it away. As soon as we grow tired of something, we throw it away. Always accumulating. Always searching for the bigger, better, thing. (The next thing is here.)

The sad truth is that we don’t just do it with TVs, cars, phones, clothes. We do it with relationships.

But aren’t we all just a broken piece of pottery?

Everyone has gone through something.

Instead of throwing away the things that matter most, we should repair the damage. Embrace it. We all need mending. We don’t have to hide it. That mending can be part of our history. It can be seen as art and even bring more value. We can fulfill our purpose again.