Through the Eyes of Kakeru


We just had the wonderful experience of hosting a Japanese student for a couple of weeks. We had a wonderful time showing him our world. He was delightful and curious, loved everything about America. (Except oatmeal and tomatoes!). Many tastes were new experiences for him. He loved RootBeer, though his friends said it tasted like medicine. He took a six-pack home.

While we were taking him around and listening to
‘Oooo, it’s gootd, so goodt’
a lot, it occurred to me that perhaps I was missing much of the
‘soo, soooo goodt’
 things in my life.

Diane Ackerman, a sensual (as in the five senses) writer who describes things in succulent language filled with imagry, talks about the dulling of the senses in the modern world. So many times we forget to just stop, take a long look at something with new eyes.

Having Kakeru here did that for me. I often wondered what he thought about things. How we appeared to him and what sorts of ideas he was getting with the ‘too much English!’ all around. We would ‘speak swlowly’ when we remembered to, but mostly we just were ourselves. Californian’s with too much to do, ‘so many parties!’ and living ‘so big!’.

When I looked at the world through his eyes, in my limited way, I saw things just a bit differently. I smiled more. I paused more. I spoke more slowly.

Maybe sometimes all we need to do in our crazy worlds is to look at things just a little differently, so we can see them differently.

He didn’t want to return. He loved it here. We loved having him. Perhaps part of that was simply his way of showing me, my world.

Comments

  1. I love your blog. Your posts are filled with positive affirmations that we all need. Thank you.

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  2. Really, really cool. Love that perspective. How can we remember that more often? I want to remember it every minute. Its such a great way to think of things. Thanks.

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  3. Great perspective! (great young man!) thank you for sharing and letting us share in some of his experiences. in so doing, teaching us to stop, look, listen and appreciate. thank you for the reminder!

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  4. We've had several exchange students over the years, and it was neat to see new things in their eyes. We spent so much time/energy "entertaining" them and doing things we otherwise wouldn't do that it was enriching for us too.

    I still remember us (a family of 5) and two students packed in a van to Arizona to see my grandmother before she died. Due to circumstances beyond our control, we ended up in a rundown motel room that had the door kicked in the night before (well, that was the story, and we didn't care, we just needed a place to stay with a shower. I devised a rudimentary "alarm system" of stacked cans of food behind the door. LOL)

    The next morning, we saw the Grand Canyon. Wow, their eyes got big! And the cameras came out.

    I sometimes wonder what kind of lasting impression they received here in America. And yes, they liked rootbeer (was like medicine, LOL) and chocolate (they packed some home!)

    Thanks for your insightful posts!

    Justin

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  5. I loved this post. I am grateful when someone can cross my path and help me see the world differently.
    ~Michelle

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  6. Isn't it a blessing to have people slip in and out of our worlds?

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  7. Justin, I wonder too, and hope that in some small way we can add to the peace and understanding of the world, one person at a time. Like the story of the hundreds of starfish on the beach that were being tossed back in, one by one by one lonely man. . . "Why do you do that, it doesn't even seem to matter." - "It mattered to that one." as he continued along his way.

    You too have mattered. Thank you for your service to your people.

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