The Art of Fixing

I no longer look for the good in people; I search for the real…because while good is often dressed in fake clothing, real is naked and proud no matter the scars

Chishala Lishomwa


If all the broken shards of me could miraculously emit golden lacquer and attract each other to stick back together, breaking would be serendipitous and fixing would become my superpower! Sounds like a plan right! But in reality when something breaks, we either look for a replacement or we switch interests and this implies to our broken self-esteems as well. I’m a huge fan of these subtle yet life-changing Japanese philosophies and the most recent one I read about is ‘Kintsukuroi’ which means ‘to repair with gold’


Kintsukuroi is an art of repairing pottery with gold and silver lacquer and the resulting fix is much more beautiful and appealing than before. It also is a philosophy that teaches that something that has undergone damage and suffering has gained beauty through its faced imperfections. I would like to believe it as healing something/one with your golden dust!


Rivers do not drink their own water.

Trees do not eat their own fruit.

Clouds do not swallow their own rain

What one has is for the benefit of others


If I am to extrapolate this valuable insight to many of the current day scenarios, it could lead to some major life-transforming practices that can help everyone heal. Starting with the basic problem that is causing all the worldwide havoc is how we deal with each other. In the present age of cut-throat competitions where everyone is trying to sprint their way up some or the other hypothetical ladder, everyone is a little or a lot broken and no one wants to know why or do something about it. Irrespective of the chasteness of underlying intentions, our goals are superfluously coated with becoming socially viral. Whatever be the root-cause, the problem isn’t how fast we are nearing the break point; rather the real issue is not doing enough to avoid this worst case scenario. In the process we are all losing on our internal golden lacquer that can help mend fellow wreckages and ultimately resurrect our own internal ruins. We aren’t fixing each other enough!



There are hundred paths up the mountain, all leading to the same place so it doesn’t matter which path you take. The only person wasting time is the one who runs around the mountain, telling everyone that his or her path is wrong


Here is an extremely valuable short Zen story that suffices the premise of fixing each other through selfless serving.

A Sufi teaching story tells of a man who prayed continually for the awareness to succeed in life. Then one night he dreamed of going into the forest to attain understanding. The next morning he went into the woods and wandered for several hours looking for some sign that would provide answers. When he finally stopped to rest, he saw a fox with no legs lying between two rocks in a cool place. Curious as to how a legless fox could survive, he waited until sunset when he observed a lion come and lay meat before the fox. “Ah, I understand,” the man thought. “The secret to success in life is to trust that God will take care of all my needs. I don’t need to provide for myself. All I have to do is totally surrender to my all-sustaining God.” Two weeks later, weakened and starving, the man had another dream. In it he heard a voice say, “Fool. Be like the lion, not like the fox.”



Coming on to the corporate scenario, I was reading a research paper by APIAR that talked about the positive effects of Internal CSR within organisations and how it has effectively helped in completely avoiding the voluntary turnover i.e. when an employee puts her paper due to extreme dissatisfaction towards the organizational practices right at the onset of turnover intention i.e. when the thoughts of leaving the company are embryonic. I truly believe that Internal CSR is a form of Kintsukuroi that should be adopted by every organization to fix all the internal unrest that leads to breakage of some or the other form. Where CSR acts as a legit window dressing to attract business and social following, it is the Internal CSR that is the real deal. For these golden scars would be the evidence of talent retention against all odds, after all every little cell is as valuable as the entire body.


Deal with fault in others as gently as with your own


For far too long we’ve been living in the fear of God and how as kids we were taught if we don’t do anything right we would be punished. But I’ve learnt, punishment is spawned out of our own egoistic minds. If punishment was the solution, then this whole world would self-purge annually due to the sinful abundance we all live in. One thing we were never taught and I firmly believe should form the formative value of our kids, is to be the golden lacquer that repair others and that is the true path towards self-preservation as we all are a little broken and together we can be a lot better..


A little new a little pale

A little steady a little quail

A little rooted a little moved

A little failed a little improved

It’s needed to be broken

To find your golden dust

To fill your cup of life

Empty it first




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