At the conclusion of a Toastmasters meeting, the leader said, “The theme for our next meeting will be wabi-sabi.”
Well…that theme was quite different from recent ones, such as enthusiasm, being prepared, rise and shine, etc., all of which were easily understood. But wabi-sabi????
Naturally, I made a bee-line for her after the meeting and smiled as I asked, “Just what is wabi-sabi?”
“It’s a Japanese word that means a way of seeing beauty in things that are imperfect, like a cracked vase. People who understand wabi-sabi intentionally place the vase so that the imperfection can be seen rather than hidden.”
One of my all-time favorite wabi-sabi photos is one of my mother’s hands, taken when she was 86 years old. I liked it so much I even wrote a poem about her hands and placed those words onto the photo itself.
The more we accept the imperfect elements in our environment and consider them interesting and beautiful, the more willing we’ll be to let go of our relentless quest for perfection—not only in things but also in people—including ourselves!