Fixing Cracks with Gold

Kintsugi (“golden joinery”) is a Japenese practice of repairing broken pottery with lacquer that is mixed with a gold, silver or platinum powder. Apparently, this custom dates back to the 15th century when shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa (a military dictator) sent a damaged Chinese tea bowl for repairs. When returned, it looked less than satisfactory and may have inclined craftsmen to look for a better way (or more aesthetically pleasing way) to repair broken pottery.

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Kintsugi is a beautiful concept that can be applied to your English studies by recognizing the beauty in broken things.

We often look at imperfections as a negative thing; most people strive for perfections. We can apply the kintsugi concept by cherishing our imperfections and viewing them as a positive.  We see with the golden repairs, there is still value in something that is broken. We look at that broken item with new eyes.

Let’s look at our studies with new eyes, and let’s look at ourselves as students with new eyes.

You may feel there are certain flaws with your studying techniques or even you as a student. Maybe you’re the type of person who’s a little disorganized – this is generally seen as a negative trait. But studies often show that messy desks or spaces may signify a creative mind at work. Your messy desk is unique and is a part of you as a student. There is still value to you as a student, and ‘disorganization’ adds to your uniqueness or beauty.

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We’re so quick to judge and berate ourselves – especially when it comes to our flaws. While we always want to work on improving ourselves, it is not helpful to criticize our flaws. Instead, try to view them in a more positive light while we work on refining our skills.

The care and love that’s put into repairing broken pottery shows how broken things are made even more beautiful than when they were ‘perfect’. So the next time you feel broken, remember the art of kintsugi. How will you apply this in your life?

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