To repair or not to repair?

There’s a Japanese art form called Kintsugi that involves restoring broken pottery by repairing the areas of breakage with lacquer that’s mixed with powdered gold, silver or platinum. And the philosophy behind the practice is that the breakage and repair are part of the history of the object, not something to hide or be despondent about. 

When you lift a heavy weight, what you’re actually doing is creating micro-tears in your muscle fibres which then have to repair themselves. And the process of repair leads to stronger and bigger muscles.

And when we mend a broken relationship, it’s an opportunity to strengthen the relationship and deepen the connection. 

When something breaks or tears or needs repair — whether it’s an object, body part, relationship or dream — it gives us an opportunity to reflect on how much we value the thing or the person or the goal. 

And whatever the context, repairing and mending are an act of love, creativity and growth.

Love from the perspective of the owner because if they didn’t value whatever was broken, they wouldn’t bother trying to repair it. And love from the perspective of the mender because they’re actively helping someone and restoring not just the object but the joy and the stories that go with it. 

So contrary to what we tend to assume, repairing something doesn’t decrease its value. It increases its value — because of the love, thought, creativity and giving that go into restoring it. 

Repairing something doesn’t weaken it either. When we mend muscles or relationships we strengthen them. And we grow. 

That’s why I’m so excited to help launch the Gold Coast Repair Café and Tool Library this Saturday 15th August at Gecko Hall, 139 Duringan St, Currumbin 4223. 

Join me at 10am to start changing our throw-away culture by bringing back the skills of repair. Too often our belongings end up in landfill because we either don’t know how to, or don’t have the tools needed to repair our gear. Repair Café changes all that by bringing together expert volunteers to help you mend and repair your stuff in a friendly, social and Covid-safe environment. 

Bring your mask along with something you want to mend and you’ll learn how your ripped, busted or broken items can get a second life. To paraphrase Winston Churchill: The pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity. The Repair Café volunteer sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

Repair Café is about much more than fixing broken objects. It’s about the things that truly matter in life: contributing to each other and moving towards a more sustainable, healthy and enjoyable way of living. 

I look forward to meeting you — while maintaining a safe distance — this weekend!

Alternatively, visit the website for other ways you can get involved

Please forward this Health-e-Byte to anyone who wants to fix something.

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