|Reading a picture book for the first graders|
|Halloween event for 3rd graders|
Autumn is a good season to go out and enjoy beautiful coloured leaves while hiking. My favourite place is Okutama which is only a few hours away by my little car. But on a rainy day like today, it is not the best place to go. So, here I am writing this for reminding myself my mission and reasons to live. I'm in a philosophical mood today because of my daughter, Momo. She's been asking philosophical questions, having a struggling time of her life as a JUKENSEI. At her high school, 90 % of students go to 4-year universities and study hard in order to pass entrance exams for the universities they would like to go. The last year of the students in high schools who wish to pass the entrance exams called JUKENSEI and the year is considered as one of the most struggling and nerve-wracking one of one's life. I do not really think it was the most challenging year of all, yet for 18-year-old of myself thought it was brutal and merciless due to the pressure I felt. Now I know what real hardship means, but at least for Momo, this year must be one of the most stressful and struggling one of her life. So, we often discuss the meaning of life lately. She says, "We are nothing special and nobody will care even if we burnish tomorrow. Life will go on without us. Nobody will cry more than a day." at which I felt irresistible anger and had to leave the room and take a breath. I was not sure where the anger was from. Was it from disappointment or sadness her comment brought inside of myself? Or was it from the stress that I did not have a convincing answer for her question? Or was it from the immense guilt I felt because I failed to bring her up as a person with high self-efficacy? I had to ask myself in order to discuss this matter, "Why do I live?". Isn't it such a luxurious question to ask? If you are under a constant life-threatening circumstance, this question will never be asked. Your whole energy will be used to survive. That is a human instinct. Yet, we are in this quite peaceful society with abundant materials and quite spoiled in terms of material richness. Both of us are aware of our fortunes. Yet it is also a human nature to seek a more satisfying living, isn't it?
After sleeping on the question for a couple of days, here is my answer. We live in order to find something we can contribute to support the development or the sustainment of the unique and oxymoronic creatures, human. In order to sustain our lives, each one of us needs to contribute something we can do. In another word, Momo and I need to find our missions. We can, of course, live without any purpose, yet that will lead apathy towards your own life and other human activities. Who would wish to be a living dead at the age of 18? if so, there is a serious issue, one must have and needs a professional help. So, the key is to find a mission to achieve whether it is small or big. The size or importance of your mission is very subjective. One may find getting up in the morning is a mission for life. One may find a cure for a uncurable disease is one's mission. At a much later stage of my life, my mission is not so grand anymore yet reachable if I work hard. Having that got me move forward every day. Bringing up Momo as a single mum was my mission for a while when she was a tiny creature, but now she is on her own, seeking her own mission. So, my mission has changed to sharing awesome stories with children and the teens as much as possible. It can be done through various types of means: picture books, blogs, discussions in class, presentations or even a chat at a corner of a cafe. I was lost for really a long time with no interests in life. I did not do anything for a couple of years after I had a second major operation at the age of 21. I thought it was not worth trying to make things better if I get sick and die. I was obviously wrong. When I started going out again, I found reasons to live for or die for. Every single day I gained my strength and became more and more hopeful. About four years ago, I was working at primary schools reading books for children hoping to share and spread the joy of stories. Because I know that stories I heard from people around me and read from books consoled my soul and gave me strength and hopes to live. I am not a superstar in most of the people's eyes. But I am one of you, a precious and valuable being for a few people. That's what really matters to me. I am blessed with some best mates, my family and Momo, my daughter I love dearly and will definitely die for if needed. She taught me a lot and I hope I can show her how to live fully not by my words but by my actions.
On a rainy day, I am thankful to have time pondering life like this. Happy rainy day to you all.