I have these two porcelain statues that I’ve owned for almost twenty years. The statues are quite nice, and I’ve had them for what seems like forever. My parents purchased them for me way back then, thinking that both of the statues depicted Buddha. They can’t be faulted for that, of course. I’ve kept them with me for years, never quite knowing where to put them or how to store them. Since they’re reasonably delicate, I’ve decided that it may be time to part with and sell them to someone who can make use of them.
I took half a dozen photographs of the statues and posted them to a buy-and-sell site that I am a member of. As is the case with most second hand merchandise, I expected very little payment for these, and posted them at $5 for both. They were without a doubt purchased for more than that, but considering the amount of time that I’ve held them, I felt that passing them on to someone else for such low price was justified.
Almost immediately, someone expressed interest. The way this site works, is someone will “express interest” and then message the buyer. We went through the typical back-and-forth involved with a second hand sale. I indicated what area of the city I lived in and the condition of the statues. The buyer seemed as though she was somewhat interested, but then asked if either of the statues had any chips on them. One of them does.
I explained that the statue expressing happiness had a small chip on the left hand. The chip happened a long time ago and unless you know it’s there, you won’t see it. This ended the interaction as she stated she was no longer interested. I felt a pang of intense frustration at the fact that this random person would pass on the opportunity for something as trivial as a chip in the porcelain.
Once I allowed my frustration to pass, this interaction got me to thinking about how people deal with things that are different. It is the nature of life that no thing can ever be identical to one another. Life does not believe in straight lines or perfection, and there are inherent flaws in every aspect of life and all it contains.
Bob Ross once said, “It’s the imperfections that make something beautiful. That’s what makes it different and unique from everything else.” This is why we should embrace those flaws when faced with something that would otherwise be considered imperfect. I’m not saying that this concept applies to something critical. I wouldn’t suggest buying a new car that has all its windows busted out, or eating food that has a bite missing out of it because of a stranger. But when something has a harmless flaw, it should be easy to acknowledge the beauty in such uniqueness. ☯