Lessons from Japan

by Jeanette Kanaguri

Dear Beautiful Soul,

Japan may not be my home country forever. If I would leave the country tomorrow, I would bring the following lessons with me:

Be KIND. Kindness is the ultimate language in Japan. I have seldom met unfriendly people, and everyone will run to you if you need help.

Stand nicely in a queue waiting to get on the train. Once you are on the train stay calm so you do not disturb the other passengers. Turn your mobile phone on silent mode, and let elderly people and pregnant women take a sit.

Silence is gold. Japanese people often consider one more time before they speak up, and silence is a much longer duration than in Western countries. The Japanese have long treated silence as a kind of virtue similar to truthfulness.  Thus a man of few words is trusted more than a man of many words.

I have taken this lesson to me too, and try only to speak when it feels good and is necessary.

Bring always your garbage at home when you have been outside, and try not to throw it away on the ground. It is an underlying rule in the Japanese society.




Reference: The Japanese Mind Edited by Davies and Ikeno, 2002


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