This month I’ll be finishing up my job as an English teacher abroad and returning to the states to pursue Personal Training. On my last day in the office, the head of the Board of Education came over to me and handed me a slip of paper. Across the top he had scribbled “5 Traits of a Leader.” Hamada-kaicho, who is 71 and still plays in a basketball league for 30-40 year olds, has been involved in public service since he joined the police force at the age of 20. Over the past two years, I’ve come to know him as a kind, thoughtful, and deeply spiritual man whose words always carry weight with those around him. I’d like to share with you what he wrote down for me.
人道を忘れず (Jindo wo wasurezu): Never forget your humanity.
基本を忘れず (Kihon wo wasurezu): Never forget the basics.
感謝を忘れず (Kansha wo wasurezu): Never forget to be thankful.
自然を忘れず (Shizen wo wasurezu): Never forget nature.
相手を忘れず (Aite wo wasurezu): Never forget the other person.
The elegance of the words in Japanese are difficult for me to capture, but I hope you take something from it, all the same.