Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Please Remember to Try

I just had the most amazing conversation with my principle. I wrote about my experience over the last four years for the teacher messages to the graduating students. Ms. Kawakami then translated it into Japanese for me.

My principle leaned over to me today and told me his favorite part:

Then I realized, by never trying I could never fail. But I could never succeed either. If I tried, at least I had the chance of succeeding. And sometimes the experience of trying is more valuable than success.

He really liked what I wrote. But more than that - he got it. I was moved when I saw in his eyes that I had inspired him. He asked me to share this with the first and second year students. I'm so glad that I took the chance and shared myself.

When I was trying to write a message to students I felt like I barely knew, I couldn't think of anything. I read what James had wrote to the students last year; he talked about how they had known each other for four years and wasn't it amazing? But I couldn't say anything like that.

I couldn't think of anything profound, or something that 'sounded right'. So I shared myself, and it turns out that sharing yourself is profound, even if you can't find the perfect words. And it sounds right even if the voice in your head says it's wrong.

And with that, I want to share with you what I wrote for the thrid year students of Nankan Junior High.

Please Remember to Try by Katharine Kreuser

Please remember, that your life is anything and evertyhing you choose to make it. It's no one's responsibility but yours. No one has the power but you.

And although you may feel alone, that is just a feeling.
And although you may think it's hopeless, that is just a thought.
And if you tell yourself you can't do something, you will never try.
And trying is the most important thing. The worst that can happen is you fail.
And if you fail, you will be in the same position you are in if you don't try at all.

For four years after college I told myself I would never live in Japan again. So I didn't try. I told myself that if I applied, there would be someone better at speaking Japanese, or teaching who would get the job. And I thought if I tried and failed, that would be worse than not trying at all.

Then I realized, by never trying, I could never fail. But I could never succeed either. If I tried, at least I had the chance of succeeding. And sometimes the experience of trying is more valuable than success.

Now when I say, `I can't do that`, I think for a moment. Am I saying this out of fear? And if I am, do I want to try anyway and see what happens? Just for fun? You never know what kind of adventure lies just around the road you pass by.

`It's a dangerous business, going out of your door. You step into the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.`
- Bilbo Baggins Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Hello All

Tonight I want to share something a little sad with you.  Tonight I was driving home and saw a dead cat lying in the street that had been hit by a car.  And it made me think of Auron.

So I'd like to share a poem I wrote to him last year right around this time.

I don’t care why
you have to be gone

I remember you everywhere
the places you sat
the games we played

I shut out the world

I thought there were reasons
but they’re all forgotten

your beautiful light
made them disappear
forever gone

I talk to the night sky
promise to find me
any way you can

any way you can

I love you so much
now there’s just space
where sorrow and pain
have taken their place

I only know
what I’ve done before
I live how I can

I shut out the world

where have you gone
I reach out to find

you can never be there
I turn and cry

I look at the night sky
so magical and sad

I don’t want to look anymore
without you
here by my side

If you have a kitty at home, give him/her a hug for me.