Shibumi- Simplicity blended with Complexity

Years ago, I was introduced to the Japanese word, "Shibumi" which means simple, yet subtle beauty.  In a way, if something is considered shibumi, it a blend of simple, yet complex elements.  Something shibumi seems so simple, yet when you look closer at it, the complexity is dramatic.

An example might be a Japanese garden. If you have ever wandered through these gardens, they seem so basic, almost understated. Yet, if you are really observant (some might say alive) you see the deep beauty, and complex features of the garden - how the sand is raked, the position of the rocks, the way the bonsai trees are trimmed. 

Over the recent years, I have thought much (research, writings, presentations) on the concept so "social capital."  In this effort, I have looked at how powerful the social residue is when we build relationships.  We know that in tangible ways, our lives are bettered through the relationships we forge.  We also know that when people are isolated, for any reason, bad things can happen.  Sociologists are convinced, that the more relationships (both quantitative, and qualitative) people have, they are happier, healthier, achieve more, advance more, and even live longer.  Powerful stuff! 

So, in a way, the message of social capital is very simple - get more friends and your life will be better.  Yet, any consideration of friendship, or relationships suggest a deep, and complicated challenge.  In a way, social capital is a "shibumi" concept. 

Think about it?  How a good of a friend are you?  How successful have you been in friendships?  Have you ever struggled gaining, retaining, or growing friendships? 

If any of this interests you, either personally, or professionally, keep an eye on this blog.  Or take a deeper look at the resources on my website. 

In spite of the wind, rain, and weather, the Japanese Gardner continues to work at his garden.  It needs raked, trimmed, and renewed everyday.  Simple things are needed in the path of complexity.