Is your life Wabi-Sabi? A peek into a beautiful outlook on life

The art of imperfection | (Picture courtesy: Lauren Mancke — https://unsplash.com/laurenmancke )

When was the last time we appreciated something for the way it is? In a world constantly craving for the glitter of newness, wabi-sabi, a Japanese concept exists as a counter-cultural movement.

Wabi-sabi is known as the art of imperfection. It accepts things the way they are. it “finds beauty in imperfection and profundity in earthiness” and reveres authenticity. In the words of Robyn Lawrence, “to discover wabi-sabi is to see the singular beauty in something that may at first look decrepit and ugly.” The concept appreciates all signs that time and weather and use leave behind such as cracks, crevices and rocks.

Wabi-sabi reminds us humans of our transience on planet earth. One can practice wabi-sabi by choosing to focus on the wear and tear of an object that belongs to you such as a piece of cloth, a vase, clay/china items, etc. It could be anything for that matter. Observe it in detail and appreciate it for itself. Lawrence observes that “our universal longing for wisdom, for genuineness, for shared history manifests in these things.”

This beautiful concept is actually a state of mind. It encourages us to accept the beauty around us for what it is and live with a sense of peace with oneself and one’s surroundings.


This article is based on ‘Wabi-Sabi: The art of imperfection’ by Robyn Griggs Lawrence as found in his article here. The idea first appeared to me while reading ‘Viral: How social networking is poised to ignite revival’ by Leonard Sweet (Colorado: WaterBrook Press, 2012).

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