Funerals and Wabi-Sabi

Funerals and Wabi-Sabi

Today I am travelling to the funeral of a family friend and musing on the Japanese concept of Wabi-Sabi. Difficult to translate, but one element, around the Sabi part, is acceptance of the cycle of life and death.

Around the idea of the beauty of imperfections, I think of another Japanese concept, of Kintsukuroi (or Kintsugi), of repairing broken pottery using gold.

Finally, I think of a friend who has made massive shifts and transformations in their life, with one seminal moment on that journey being around five years ago when they stood on a stage to give a talk, forgot their lines, then said, on mic and repeatedly (and very calmly), “I embrace my imperfections”. As the Italian saying goes, “la vita e bella”. Life is beautiful.

Oh, and as this is a blog on #OpenLeadership, for all those who lead others and are reading this, know that embracing your own imperfections as well as the impermanence of everything in life and business, these are key to leading into the emergent future, which is at the hear of #OpenLeadership.

Also published on Medium.