You know, we’re at an interesting point in human existence right now… We boats being more enlightened, more tolerant and more understanding of others; all while both verbally and physically attacking those who are different or don’t share our views, opinions and/or belief systems. Although not the only one, it remains as one of the biggest societal contradictions that I see and recognize on a daily basis.
When I was growing up, I was shunned, bullied and picked on for being different and not sharing the same interests or abilities as my peers. This concept carried on into my adult life and brought me to a time and place where self-image and my acceptance of it, became an important tool to repair the cracks in who I felt I was as opposed to how the rest of the world kept telling me I should be.
This reminds me a bit of kintsugi. Some of you might know what this is or may have heard of it. Kintsugi is a Japanese practice of repairing brown pottery using gold to fill the cracks. The idea is that just because something is broken, it’s no longer useless and can be mended in such a way to make it even more valuable and endearing than it previously was. The idea behind this philosophy is to learn to embrace imperfection and recognize the value in something, even when it’s flawed.
Although potentially beautiful and pleasing on the eyes (you can Google “kintsugi” for examples of what I’m talking about here), there is a significant flaw in this philosophy; one that comes back to a much different viewpoint as it relates to the breaking of ceramic or pottery. I once read a story online where a philosophy professor asked a student to smash a plate on the floor, and the student did so. The professor then asked the student to say “sorry” to the plate and the student did. The professor then asked if the plate had been repaired and when the student said that it hadn’t, pointed out that words can have the same effect.
Although the concept of kintsugi can make a piece beautiful and interesting, there’s no denying that not causing the damage in the first place is equally, if not more so, important. Also, the vanity of believing one can repair something they believe is flawed flies in the face of accepting that not all people share same views, same thoughts, same beliefs… It’s accepting those differing aspects that make us a rational, civilized society. Unfortunately, based on what I’ve seen, we aren’t there yet. ☯️
One thought on “Not All That Is Cracked Is Broken…”
When I used to live in NorCal, I saw this “more enlightened, holier than thou” attitude first develop in Berkeley and Marin County, and spread outward. The internet put afterburners on it. These folks can quote a few trendy Buddhist teachers, and carry an insane amount of ego. Nowadays though, it’s damned near every group though. “My hate is righteous, you’re evil and I’m morally superior so I’m right to try to destroy your life and reputation”.
I see SMALL signs of people in the middle getting fed up with it all, BUT at this point, I can honestly say I’m not all that certain about the future of society and I’m glad I don’t have kids when I think about it all.
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