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You Can Take or You Can Give

Are you happy with your life now? Are you satisfied with your house, your bicycle, your clothes, and your things? Maybe you are, or maybe you are not. Maybe you need something new, like a new bicycle, or new shoes. Maybe you would like to have a nice bag, or have some nice clothes. That is completely okay. It is okay to want to have something nice. It is okay to want something new.

When you are a student here at Otemae, you need a lot of things. So, your mom and your dad help you. They have a home for you to live in. They give you food. They buy your school things. They buy your shoes, computer, cell phone, bag, bicycle, and many other things. That is your parent’s job. They need to help you, support you, and take care of you. I have kids too, so I must do the same thing like your mom and dad. I like to be a dad, and I think your parents like it too.

But as you get older you begin to see that there are two types of people. There are people who take. And there are people that give. We can call them “takers” and “givers”.

People who are “takers” try to take as many things as they can from others. They take other people’s time. They take other people’s money. They take other people’s energy. They are usually not so kind. They think only about themselves. They are selfish, and many times they cannot make a good human connection to other people.

People who are “givers” are different. They help other people. They are kind. They smile. They think about how to make life fun and enjoyable. They work hard for other people. They don’t think money is the most important thing in life. They have a sense of humor. They often love living things. They often believe that time is very important, and sharing time with others is the greatest joy in life.

Every week I have a chance to meet your teachers here at Otemae. Your teachers are surely people who are “givers”. Your teachers give their energy to you. They give their knowledge. They give their talent. They give their care, their attention, and their love for students. For you.

They give you their time. And maybe this is the most important thing that your teachers give to you.

Otemae teachers often give students their Sundays and holidays. Your dance coach, soccer coach, tennis coach, badminton coach, baseball coach, basketball coach, iaido coach, brass band teacher, kendo coach, table tennis coach, and all other coaches give you their time. Sundays disappear, the same for Golden Week, Spring and Summer vacations, national holidays, and even through the winter break your teachers give their time to you.

But they do so with a smile and a good heart. It is a beautiful thing. Here at Otemae you will surely receive a top class education. You will master your science and math lessons. You will be good writers and thinkers. You will learn history and language and art and music.

And you will also learn how to be a good human. You will learn about how to give to others and how to contribute to people. Your teachers who stand here all around you are great examples for how to live.