I was thinking long and hard about my 2018 resolution: how to make sure I can be a better person in this year ahead? But then I found the answer: I will be a Japanese.
I love Japan. That’s the first thing you should know. Back then, I didn’t really know why people love Japan so much, but then I joined a Jenesys exchange and had the chance to learn Japanese culture.
Ever since, I never lose excitement of talking about Japan.
So, what do you mean by being a Japanese?
Not by gesturing a bow every time I greet people.
Or being all cute with smiley dimples.
Or wearing flanel skirt with fashionable stockings.
I just think that Japanese really understands the point of life: to be nice to one another. Back then, I still didn’t understand why I love Japan so much. Everything is so organized, everything has purpose, everything is so effective. It wasn’t until I saw a video in Facebook that I can finally coin up what best descibed a Japanese: the thoughtfulness of others.
In Japan, the chef will personally come out of their kitchen and say sorry to you if the food takes too long to cook.
People consciously clean up their own mess after meals – not because they’re ashamed – but because they don’t want to give too much work to the cleaning services.
People queue in a simple row and everyone gets in according to the queue. There’s no pushing, no yelling, not even a single word. They just know that’s the best and the most efficient way to aboard the train.
Toilet in Japan has a seat-warmer, something that feels like heaven after a long day at snow.
Even the onigiri in minimarket comes with informative instruction of how to best enjoy your rice ball.
Each pack of their cookies or candies have silicone that will change color if the pack is torn.
I mean, come on! That’s just how much they care to other person. They thought about other people’s happiness, feelings, and how they can contribute to make their lives easier.
Photo credit: https://c-lj.gnst.jp/public/article/detail/a/00/01/a0001721/img/en/a0001721_parts_5a28920c0efa5.jpg?20171207190421
So, by being Japanese, I mean that I want to embed their ways of lives into my own life. Here are some things I want to do this year:
1. Taking care of my own mess, leaving as little work as possible
This means, I will try my best to always reduce the number of work for other people. For example, if I go to a restaurant, after finishing a meal, I will gather all the used plates in the middle, throw away leftover food before putting a plate to a dishwasher. If I read a magazine at the airport, I will put back the magazine instead of keeping it in my chair. Something like that. Shortly, do everything we can to NOT make other people’s miserable in cleaning up our mess.
2. Being nice to everyone
Japanese people is well-known to be polite and nice to everyone. They don’t like making troubles or conflicts. I want to be nice to everyone too. Offering my help to people who seemed to need it. Not deliberately being a bitch just because I’m not in the mood. More importantly: hold my anger and not to get angry with someone else just because I have a personal problem inside. They are not sack bag. It’s toxic, really.
Photo credit: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/54ce88b3e4b08cdce8e070d8/54efb6d5e4b049918b426ea6/54efd289e4b09bab2ad0147b/1425003145982/lets-travel-to-japan-with-anton-repponen-featured.jpg?format=2500w
3. Genuinely happy for other people
Admit it, this one is kinda hard, right? It’s hard to put a genuine smile on your face when you’re so jealous. But hey, life is short. We’re all not gonna make it alive. Might as well support each other and be happy for other people’s accomplishment. Well, as long as they deserve it. I think I need to make peace with myself. I really need to stop feeling so insecure, as though other people’s success means I’m a huge failure. No, I am not. And each one of us will have different purposes in life.
4. Focus on what really matters
This is the one thing I like the most about Japanese people. When I come to their house, there’s no display of their wealth. Everything is modest. They seem to limit the number of stuffs in their houses, they won’t keep something that serves no purpose. Everything has functions. Japan is one of the most practical country in the world.
This one is for me to focus on what really matters. Stop acting as if I’m up-to-trend, stop pretending like someone that I’m not, stop buying things that I don’t need, and stop having so many distractions. Live in modesty. Focus on what truly matters for me, not for everyone else.
I hope all of these will make me a better person, more thoughtful of others, just like the Japanese.
Hey, I wanna hear your resolutions, too! Got any interesting thing I can copy on?
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