A Re-evaluation of resolutions

MEAx Australia | A re-evaluation of resolutions | 12th January 2022

Reflections and resolutions that accompany a new year are often rooted in a desire to change or improve … to become shinier, more perfect versions of ourselves. But this year, as we continue to navigate increasing (and unprecedented) uncertainty, maybe it’s time to consider a different approach, and overlay the Japanese philosophy of ‘kintsugi’ on our resolutions (and life in general).

Kintsugi is a Japanese art form that embraces the idea of celebrating flaws and imperfections. In Kintsugi, broken pottery is put back together using gold or silver lacquer that both repairs and highlights the “scars” as part of the design. The belief is that each unique break is not a flaw to be hidden, but rather is part of the object’s history. A history that should be embraced, highlighted and honoured. It is believed that the object becomes more unique because of its flaws and both stronger and more beautiful for having been broken.

The ethos of kintsugi blurs the boundaries between life and art through the practice of celebrating imperfections, not disguising them. Honouring the beauty in imperfection, the cracks within us all, along which our strengths have calcified over time. These wounded places become entry points for light, love and hope, or as Leonard Cohen sang in his song Anthem,

“Forget your perfect offering, there is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.”

Using kintsugi as a metaphor for our own lives and overlaying this on the ritual of resolutions can perhaps teach us some important lessons. That sometimes in the process of repairing or improving things that feel broken, we can create something more unique, beautiful, and resilient. This ethos of kintsugi is subtly woven through all MEA programs and in what it means to be a modern elder… where the beauty (and privilege) of ageing (and the inevitable scars that accompany it) is highlighted rather than hidden. We know that ‘cracks’ are part of our history… golden fault lines that run through us all, as reminders of our ability to heal… of our strength and resilience and the beauty in all our scars and imperfections

Stay curious,
The MEAx Team

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