There is a Japanese fable that tells the story of a great Emperor who was preparing for the royal visits. Kings and princes were to gather in his palace, and it was customary to admire each other’s choicest possessions. On this occasion the Emperor had a special bowl made by the finest of craftsmen to impress his visitors. To his dismay, he found it broken and given there was not time to make a new one before the royal visit he went back to his artisan to try and glue it back together again. Not with glue, with gold!
The visitors were amazingly impressed with the bowl and marvelled at the value and beauty of the finished product. The emperor was thrilled, and embarrassment saved, but more importantly he was even more favoured for his initiative and creativity.
This “event” has sparked an industry in this type of pottery. Kintsukuroi is the name given to “repairing with gold” that makes a piece even more beautiful and valuable than before.
However, it is also a wonderful metaphor for helping us understand ourselves as individuals. Often society and the media focus on the “beautiful” people and I am sure we all have an interpretation of what that means. One must possess a certain look, or certain physical characteristics. Sometimes famous people are celebrities just because they are celebrities, not that they have achieved anything significant. (In fact, the Year 12 students who sat the Writing task on the AST test recently had to write about this very topic.)
We all have flaws..but God loves us regardless
This type of pottery reminds us that we all have flaws. We are not perfect, we are not complete. It is difficult to cover up your imperfections and I am not referring to just physical ones. But our Christianity tells us that God loves us regardless. And we can be stronger as a result of our trials and setbacks.
The scriptures have loads of references to people struggling and how God can and does help them. You may remember the Beatitudes (Matt 5:3-12) as just one example.
But sometimes our classmates, and adults too, can be cruel. Often those who are judging have low self-esteem themselves and if they can make someone feel worse than they do, it strangely makes them feel better! When I was in primary school, we were taught to say, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me!”
At SFX we want everyone to be the “best you can be”. I believe SFX is a welcoming and inclusive school community, but we can’t be complacent either.
We have to keep working on it. We want to ensure SFX remains exactly that- a safe, inclusive, and welcoming school.
All the best,