The Japanese Culture — Simply Amazing

The Japanese Culture — Simply Amazing


By John Herd
March 15, 2011 

I went to the Itsuki Restaurant for lunch today. It is a neighborhood Japanese restaurant. But I really went to tell the people there that I hoped their families in Japan were all okay. Yumie, a charming you waitress there, greeted me with the same enchanting smile and “how are you” that she always does.

I told here that I was very concerned for any family she and her husband may have in Japan and said I hoped they were okay. In a seemingly understated and yet positive way, still with the smile on her face, Yumie said she and her husband do have family there, that they all have lost their homes, and have now food, water or utilities. Then she added that they will be okay though. I told her that they will be in my thoughts and hopes.

When my food was ready I brought it home and began eating it. As I sat there I couldn’t help thinking that despite my having to be very careful with my limited fixed income, I had so much more than all the untold thousands of Japanese going through the horrors of the disaster. I could not keep eating. I had to do something.

I headed to an ATM machine and withdrew $100 from my already pretty depleted funds for this month. Then I headed back to the Itsuki Restaurant. I told Yumie that I wanted to help someone in Japan, someone, anyone in her family. I also explained that if I just made a contribution to an aid charity only a portion of the funds would ever get to actually helping someone; the rest would go to the charity’s administrative expenses.

When I put the $100 in her hand she acted as if she didn’t quite know if she should take it. Then she said she needed to talk to her husband about it, a gentleman who is a chef at the restaurant. They spoken for a minute and then she came back to me.

Yumie said to me that their families would be okay, but they knew someone in japan that was a lot worse off and they’d like to give that person the money. Keep in mind that Yumie’s relatives had lost their homes and had neither food or water.

That degree of generosity on their part, and the amazing example of the concern for societal collective well being apparently over individual priority more than moved me. Every time I thought of it throughout the rest of the day moved me almost to tears. It was a morality lesson I will forever carry with me. It’s a lesson we can all learn from.

 

© John Herd, ’11
May be reposted with prior permission
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Johnherd@johnherd.com
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About johnherd

A free thinker
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