The world is a broken place. You never have to look very far to see it. Just turn on the news or walk down the street. In fact, you don’t even have to look that far. We are all broken, all fractured into pieces. The world is not often a kind place. Life is rarely fair and never easy. The question is what to do with that brokenness.


People are always trying to one-up one another, show that they are better when they’re really fighting against themselves by pushing other people down. Reality TV is a prime example. They cultivate an atmosphere that produces drama, stress, competition, and a cutthroat environment. Competition has been so ingrained in our society that doing otherwise is counter-cultural, but that’s exactly what we need to do.

One of the greatest successes in life is to live through your brokenness by connecting with it through others. Not letting it drive you into pushing others down or away to convince yourself and them that you have it all together and under control. Instead accept it, use it, and share it with others. I have looked at a piece of art, read a story, or a book and seen and felt an echo of pain in it. That shared brokenness that makes your heart ache for them while at the same time making you feel just a little bit less alone.


Pushing through that pain and brokenness to small unexpected acts of kindness to others or just by sharing it in some way that others can see and learn from and be encouraged enriches the lives of those around you and begins healing the brokenness in you. The important point is not that we are broken, but what we do with that brokenness.

Communities are built on shared experiences, and a sharing of brokenness. As artists—writers, painters, photographers, designers, dancers—we share our pain through what we do. It’s an outlet for us that lets us begin to understand the angst that sometimes surrounds us. It’s our method of communicating things that are the most important. My encouragement to you is to find ways to use your brokenness to encourage others and yourself. It is not an easy task by any means. Begin with one small kindness to another and go from there.


“Bad brokenness is broken by good brokenness.” –Ann Voskamp, The Broken Way

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” –Henry David Thoreau

“Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.” –Simone Weil

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By Melissa Blakely