I think we bump into one another each day and do not quite comprehend how much of an influence we have on each other. To me, we human beings are living breathing compilations of our experience. Some of these experiences, more often than not, are with other people. Every interaction, every word, every gesture with someone is an influential moment, but I don’t think we comprehend the importance of these everyday occurrences. Every day to every hour to every minute to ever second is precious. So many things in our life have become “status quo”. They occur in automatic fashion with little to no thought to them. We no longer look at them as “special” enough to provide our unadulterated attention.
I always use the brushing of the teeth metaphor to help explain…
Do you remember the first time you brushed your teeth? Chances are you probably don’t, but I am sure most of us can admit that your younger self was probably very excited to start brushing his or her own teeth. I can remember when my mother stopped putting the toothpaste on the brush for me, I was ecstatic. This eventually led to me getting toothpaste everywhere, and I eventually tamed the wild beast that is the tube of toothpaste. Currently, brushing my teeth is just a necessary annoyance to me. I do it twice a day but never really want to do it, but that’s understandable I have done it every day of my life it was bound to become old fashion, right? If it wasn’t for the terrible consequences of breath and poor dental hygiene I would probably be much more inconsistent. Days where I am in a rush I always find myself wishing I didn’t have to brush my teeth.
Now juxtapose this frame of mind with the one of your younger self. My question to you is do you think we put in the same amount of effort in brushing our teeth, at both ages? Imagine your seven-year-old self and how happy they were with being able to have some accountability. This fueled an eagerness to put in as much effort as possible. Can you really admit to having that same eagerness?
I am not trying to convince you that your teeth are in terrible condition.
That vibrant energy of eagerness is what is missing from many of us trapped in adulthood. And it is a shame as adulthood is the second last stop on the life train headed to death. By this stage in life, tasks completed for decades become completed through routine rather than that pure youthful motivation. Motivation is present but it is a much less potent than the emotion concocted within ourselves during our younger selves.
Dear Virtual Diary,
Maybe this will be part 1 of a long ramble…
When it comes to writing, I think the hardest thing to write about is love, death probably comes in at a close second.
The story, I am currently writing, will eventually get into Love and I am not sure how I will tackle it. I feel getting my thoughts out may help with writing about it later.
I want to start by saying I dislike the word Love very much. I think you’d agree that the feeling of Love cannot be, holistically speaking, well represented by one word alone. Love should always be a paragraph or an essay, not a four-letter-word. And yes, Love is certainly those things as well as a four letter-word but does anyone make an effort to say more…?
Of course, using a four-letter word is more convenient. Thus, my question is should Love be convenient?
Everywhere and anytime we say I Love you we should be reciting this so-called paragraph or essay. Think about the first time you told someone you loved them, was it special? Was it underwhelming? Now imagine instead of saying I Love you you handed that person a 1000-word paragraph on your feelings? (I know this is not very practical but is Love supposed to be practical?) Should we be able to just conveniently package it away in our emotional suit case underneath our sympathy and doubt? Or does it deserve its own entire storage facility?
Also, when I say essay I do not propose some kind of high-level Oxford PhD article were vocabulary used is known by few. Love can be conveyed easily by using regular everyday words, but there must be some kind of effort when conveying those words.
Don’t you think the receiver of the message of Love would value and gain a better understanding of how you feel? Today we use and abuse words, misusing them in situations that do not match their meaning and consequently cause confusion to others.
February 22, 2017
Dear Virtual Diary,
I forgot to write about my time at Yoshiura and a certain event that unfolded that left me humbled and grateful.
With the Board of Education I work for it is common practice for all the English teachers in the area to all visit one school, this is typically called “English Day”. On this particular day (February 6th) we all headed to Yoshiura. Spending time with the kids was great, but one particular experience was special. We had a Calligraphy 書道 = しょどう class with the 5th graders. After practicing writing various amount of Kanji. They sprung the surprise of creating a Japanese name for each of us.
Dwayne, phonetically, is broken down in Japanese as Do-U-AY-IN. Phonetically in Japanese it is ドウゥエイン it really depends on how you pronounce it but I usually go with this way of spelling it in Japanese.
The students gave me the following name: 努羽上音, which pronunciation wise is similar to the phonetic layout mentioned above. Here is the really tear jerker though.
The students took turns breaking down the English meaning of each Kanji, in English.
The first character 努 stands for giving one’s full effort.
The second is 羽 wings.
The third is上 up or above.
Last is 音 music.
They basically said that they chose these Kanjis because it best describes me. A person who always gives effort to soar above challenges and enjoys music. Now I cannot convey the level of cuteness in which the students presented our names in Kanji, but believe me when I say it was a tender moment in my life, without a doubt.
Kids are great.