Kintsugi: Discover the Japanese Technique for Embracing Imperfections

Kintsugi: Conheça a Técnica Japonesa Para Abraçar as Imperfeições

I'm sure you've heard of the art of putting the pieces of a broken piece of pottery back together. This technique was born in Japan and has a name: Kintsugi . The word itself doesn't seem to mean much. But when we try to understand everything that is hidden behind it, we realize that it is loaded with meaning.

Kintsugi is a philosophy of life created to help us be happier and love each other more. And before you ask the question “But how can a Japanese technique for repairing broken ceramic pieces be related to human happiness?”, we get ahead of ourselves. The relationship with our well-being has to do with the story behind a broken object, which can be a metaphor for something present in us, which we consider to be a defect or some point that we don't like so much. In Japan, the basis of this ancient philosophy argued that a damaged object would be a unique and more beautiful object, precisely because of all the imperfections that had led it there and that were part of it. This same object should never be replaced or repaired in an imperceptible way, and its cracks should be embraced – instead of being camouflaged or perfectly hidden.

Looking to the future, respecting and honoring the past, the marks of our experiences must always be there. And it is following this line of thought that Kintsugi also became a way of seeing life. The premise is not to hide imperfection, but to make it beautiful.

The technique's messages

There are several lessons that we can find in this philosophy, namely:

1. When an object we like breaks, it does not mean that it is no longer useful (its pieces can become valuable);

2. We should try to repair objects, because by doing so we can make them even more useful;

3. All of this is about resilience (we must always look for a way to face traumatic events in a positive way, and learn from negative experiences, taking the best they gave us and convincing ourselves that it is these experiences that make us precious and unique people).

This art and the human being

Although we often feel relieved when others are truthful, we are afraid to expose ourselves. We see other people's honesty about their faults as a positive thing, but we find admitting our own faults much more problematic. This happens because we understand other people's experiences in an abstract way, but we see our own in a very concrete way.

This philosophy also tells us that no experience in life is lost. Everything we do can serve as a lesson for us, even if it's something we don't intend to repeat. Mistakes can be the most important and effective experiences of all. The wisest attitude is to “fix yourself” when the unexpected happens.

All this is also valid for the physical approach of the human being. The physical signs of a long life do not have to be a reason for shame, just as perfection does not have to be a goal, since we are not manufactured products. Kintsugi takes advantage of what it already is, and can see beauty in it, even with flaws.

The person you are is enough. And we can all make use of what we already are and have – including what we believe to be a defect – to become more beautiful people. It is these “cracks” that give us our personality and character, which are unique. So, the next time you go to fix that broken piece, remember all these teachings and apply them to your life too.

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