Not everything has to be perfect. There is beauty in a cracked vase, joy in a rainy day, and a learning experience in defeat. Beth Kempton, an award-winning entrepreneur and self-help author whose books have been translated into 24 languages, introduces readers to this enlightening and life-affirming concept in ‘Wabi Sabi: Japanese Wisdom for a Perfectly Imperfect Life’.
Wabi sabi (‘wah-bi sah-bi’) is a captivating idea that derives from Japanese aesthetics. It helps us to perceive beauty in imperfection, recognise the value of simplicity, and accept the fleeting nature of all things. It is a refreshing remedy to our fast-paced, consumer-driven world, encouraging its adherents to slow down, reconnect with nature, and be kinder to themselves. Wabi sabi helps to simplify everything, focusing on what actually matters in life.
From celebrating the rhythm of the seasons through to recycling and ageing with grace, wabi sabi teaches followers to find more joy and inspiration in what is, as Beth puts it, a perfectly imperfect life.
Wabi sabi helps to simplify everything, focusing on what actually matters in life
More relevant than ever in the 21st century, as we look for fresh ways to approach challenges and seek meaning beyond materialism, wabi sabi is a concept whose time has come. Almost everyone is encouraged to strive for perfection, yet it can never be attained – think of all the energy wasted trying to achieve something that is not possible. Your home will never be exactly the way to want it; someone will always have a better car than you, and no, your child is not going to be an astronaut. But ask yourself, are you happy in your home, does your car get you from A to B, and does little Jimmy really want to be an astronaut in the first place? Oh, and that pot you dropped, buy some glue and fix it – you’ll be amazed at how good it feels to have a beautiful but imperfect pot on show. The cracks show it has a history. It has lived, something that so many people fail to do nowadays. They are too busy with things and status. So be like the pot and enjoy your life!
‘Wabi Sabi: Japanese Wisdom for a Perfectly Imperfect Life’ was selected as a recommended read by TIME Magazine and described as ‘a truly transformational read’ by Sunday Times Style. It’s one of the few reads that could genuinely change your life for the better.