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The teacher’s Diary: kintsugi, the philosophy of my choice

As a philosophy, kintsugi can be seen to have similarities to the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, an embracing of the flawed or imperfect. This can be seen as a rationale for keeping an object around even after it has broken and as a justification of kintsugi itself, highlighting the cracks and repairs as simply an event in the life of an object rather than allowing its service to end at the time of its damage or breakage.source: Wikipedia

No one escapes life unbroken. We all come across hardships and tragedies that break something within our soul. Most of the times, when we move on, we carry the scars with us and try to hide them, pretending they’re not there. We feel compelled to act “normal” and “forget” what we went through. And most of the time, we fail!

I am now convinced that this is really what we do wrong: moving on does not mean hiding what we went through as if nothing ever did, but it means embracing our mistakes and scars and experiences as part of who we are. Those scars, when accepted, will define who we are because they are so special and cannot be repeated or recreated ever again. When we accept the beauty of our imperfections, the artful combination of our shortcomings and insecurities will finally stop haunting us and start to become a source of pride and hope.

As a teacher, I strive to teach this philosophy to my kids and live by it every single day. Life becomes much easier when we accept that mistakes are bound to happen, and learning from those mistakes will always make us better people.

Last minute development

It is something that rarely ever happens on such short notice… I got a chance to accomplish something just when the year is almost over and every person starts to consider the time lost and assess what was done and what wasn’t…
Just as the year reached its final days, those days that train as if they shouldn’t exist, as if they only fill a gap between the past and the future, I was assigned for a training on the newest technology of teaching: The interactive smart board. I know it’s a cutting-edge technology that is supposed to change the ways of teaching and so on, but it wasn’t the impression I first got out of the training. I felt as if I was wasting time- precious time – that I should be using to rest and finish all the pending job I have before the vacation ends.

Then I discovered that world on my own, got the hang of it (so to speak) and then the possibilities started blooming in front of my eyes. What worlds can be uncovered, what scientific discoveries would the student enjoy! I know it will take a lot of work and preparation, but the outcome will be satisfying and rewarding (I hope).

Now, as I look back to all the things that happened around me during 2011, and everything that changed, every war that ended, every revolution that started, every victory, every loss, I feel embarrassed to look back to my accomplishment during that year.

When I began writing this post- it was during one of the long periods of meaningless talking during the training and I got bored- I thought that this update would be the crown accomplishment of my year. But I’m convinced that a few extra skills wouldn’t add much to your life. I was compelled to dig deeper: What did I do this year that I can be proud of? Was it the positive change in my work status? Was it the 13 kilos I lost to get in shape?

Then I knew it was nothing like that. I’m proud of the change that I became. I’m a different person than I once was: I’m more relaxed (I’m still quite neurotic at times of course), I’m finding ways to communicate with others, building friendships and trusting people. I discovered that to trust people, you must first trust in yourself. I’m a better teacher than I was (still have a long way to go but baby steps are still important).

It requires a person that knows you well to notice these changes but a bit of introspection would do a lot of good for you. I know I’m not perfect, just as I know no one is. I also know that Improving yourself shouldn’t be a pressure from your surrounding, but a need that we must fulfill just for ourselves. I’m content with all of what changed in me, I’m satisfied with the person I’ve become and that is more than enough for me. I hope I can say the same next year!

Goodbye 2011, a year loaded with tragic events and welcome 2012, a year full of options, hope and chances.