Saturday, 31 May 2014

Thoughts on Choosing Your Own Life Inspired by a Japanese Countryside

One of my friends in Japan teaches English to older Japanese people and invited us to come out for a lesson.
I don't actually remember what city it was in but it's about 2 hours away by train from where we were.

The students were amazing!
They're all between the ages of my parents and grandparents, and I loved getting to know them all.
They were so chatty and wanted to know about everything and were almost all learning English so they can learn something new and communicate with all the English speaking visitors that frequent Japan.

How cool is that?!!
Imagine your grandma taking Spanish classes so she can talk to the guy who owns the bodega.
Inspirational is the only way to describe these people.

Afterwards we took a walk to the local university where I borrowed a bicycle with a basket (I want a bicycle with a basket so, so much) and rode this way and that till it was time to leave.

I learned a lot about the nature of people today.
I was especially grateful to see the difference in mentalities between cultures, especially between the US and Japan.

Older people here are much more self sufficient.
They do the same things they did when they were younger like learning, going out to eat, gossiping with friends, getting to know people from other backgrounds, and just enjoying their life.

The moment people get older in the US they are no longer seen as valuable members of society.
Their ideas are rejected, their family shuns them and a lot of the time they are forced to live in an assisted living home when they are still fully capable of taking care of themselves if someone made the time to check in on them twice a week.

Travel is opening my eyes to the choices I'm able to make about how I live and where I live.
It's completely up to each and every person to spend their lives finding out what makes them happy, and doing just that.
If you say you don't have time to do that, then make the time.

Do you really want to be grumpy and bitter in your old age complaining and blaming other people for you not being happy?

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