As you grow older and your looks begin to fade, will you still consider yourself to be beautiful? Will you look back on your life with contentment and find peace in the process of getting older?
Wabi-sabi can be the answer. It is respect for what is passing, fragile, slightly broken and modest. It embraces authenticity over Western ideals of shiny perfection. A philosophy that encompasses the Japanese aesthetic and reminds us of our own humanity, wabi-sabi refers to the beauty of the impermanent, the rustic and even melancholic.
Think: farmers market over supermarket. It’s your grandfather’s leather jacket, not the latest design fresh off the high street. Imagine a worn old pair of boots, a scratched vinyl or a dusty photograph torn at the edges - Don’t these things make your heart weigh a little heavier?
When you look at an object, can you sense its story - the hands that once owned it, made it or used it? Do you value the history of the object? Could you see its imperfections as a source of beauty?
In today’s modern world, wabi-sabi takes on greater significance. As we strive for a fulfilled life we’re starting to learn that existential goals such as status, wealth or popularity will not bring us contentment. Instead intrinsic goals can fulfil our basic human needs. (Happy)
Source: Sarita Marwaha / architeering.tumblr.com
What we need to realise is that the answer lies within ourselves. We are able to decide for ourselves whether we should attribute value to something or not. And since we have the autonomy to decide what we believe in, our choices should be made wisely. Follow the path of wabi-sabi and choose to make peace with our transitory and imperfect nature.
Together we can choose to find great satisfaction in humble moments. We can age gracefully, and the objects around us can develop a patina of use, without finding themselves being replaced or thrown away.