Thinking of Others

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I said I was going to reinvent myself this summer. Interesting enough I stopped trying and a change has already began to seep through. I stepped on this island expecting it to be like it was last year, but as time went on I learned it was not. I had to accept new challenges and create an entirely different atmosphere. Although Onayama- San’s messages are always vital to one’s life this one today was the one I needed to hear. She addressed many topics, but they were a few that stuck out to me.

Mrs. Onayama-San explained to us today that she believes America is a “me mentality.” I examined my own life and realized there were a few apologies I had to make; in many ways I always think about myself. A key point that she made that stuck out to me was: “If you think about the other person’s next move or the situation ahead you are ready for what may come.” My double interpretation was if I stop thinking about only what I can do to benefit myself and start thinking about others more life would go a lot smoother.
She then showed us the peaches she has purchased for us. She held the peach like a crown jewel in her hand, and demanded that we smelled them before we ate them.

To the average American this seems silly. However, she explained that every moment counts if you just dive into the peach the moment is gone and you did not take full advantage of it. In smelling the peach and clearing your senses before you eat it you then have the memory of not just how good it was but how good it smelled and felt also. Once again a bigger meaning and interpretation filled my head.

The Japanese take pride in everything that they put their mind to. As Francisco- San always tells us that “the little things is what they pay attention to and master.” I should now take pride, time, and my all into everything I put my mind to. I thought this to myself but was still fuzzy as to how I should go about this. As divine fate would have it this was simply demonstrated to me by fellow chorister, Zara. We were making cranes and she was extremely frustrated that she could not get the hang of it. She sat down crossed her legs and began to intricately fold the piece of paper.

She made sure every corner matched and was neatly folded, and by the time she finished she had basically mastered the art of crane making. Something so simple taught me such a big lesson. I am entering college and plan to major in International Political Economy & Diplomacy. I was told that I needed something to make me stand out – I have now found it! Excellence and success does not only come from being the best, but from taking every aspect of that one thing and mastering every small detail – the BIG things are not always what may be important.

– Alphea