7.19.2007

Bittersweet

I am officially finished my duties at all my schools. Yesterday was the last day of classes at Kono Elementary School and it was good to get a chance to say farewell to the students. I played 'Animal Basket'...think fruit basket upset...with the grade 2 classes all morning. What a hoot!

Today, I was asked to attend their final assembly and officially say goodbye to the school. I gave them a small book about the Canadian rockies (purchased over 2 years ago at the Calgary Tower) as well as some omiyage...chocolate!

It was sad to say goodbye. Of all the schools that I was involved in this year, Kono was my favourite. The staff were always very kind, the kids were great, and it was nice and close to my house.

But it is time to move along...Kelly and I have resolved that it is time to stop moving every 2 or 3 years, hopefully we will be in Kamloops for a good long time...at least until the kids finish high school.

I have learned that relationships are permanent. When you invest yourself in another person, there will always be a relationship between you. When you enjoy those people, it hurts to change that relationship. The relationships that we have developed here have been a genuine source of joy for us and for our kids. Now that the time has come to move along, I think that in a mysterious way, a part of 'us' will linger here in memories, pictures, journals, school records, in the household goods that we used for two years and now bequeath to Kelly's successor. But those relationships will forever change on July 25th when we fly away.

For me, the hardest thing about leaving here is that we have really been helpless in communicating the source of our 'being'. So many people here live lives of what I call 'quiet desperation'. Seeing how long people work and the demands put on people to 'ganbatte' or 'fight' is tragically misplaced. When a mother can't see her kids because she has to be at school until 8 or 9 pm, something is wrong. The number one reason that teachers book time off work here is depression. When a child acts out at home, parents call the school and ask why the teachers aren't teaching their kids how to behave. This is not the way things should be.

The Japanese are outwardly very 'happy' and have ready smiles. But the fact that Japan has one of the highest suicide rates among developed countries tells me that something is wrong and the pursuit of 'happiness' is futile.

I firmly believe that the classical Christian worldview as it was intended to be understood provides the best foundation for the things that we observe in the universe.

It is only through our relationship to God that...

...we find true meaning for this life and beyond.
...we can make sense of suffering.
...we can have true hope for the future.
...we can make any sense of good and evil.
...we can recognize that 'we' and 'others' are inherently valuable.

小野小学校、ほんとにありがとうございました!おげんきで!

3 comments:

Mom C said...

So eloquently expressed Colin. Thankyou. Godspeed as you follow your heart to your next destination.

sans auto said...

Good luck in your travels. Thanks for the link the other day, that was helpful.

sans auto said...

Good luck in your travels. Thanks for the link the other day, that was helpful.