Kyoto International School

Kyoto International School

Posted on May 2, 2013
Filed Under culture exchange, Kansai Food Bank, volunteer | Leave a Comment

I had a wonderful time this morning with small people.  These small people were from the Kyoto International School and Pamela, one of our interns, and I went to talk to them because they wanted to find out just what Kozmoz did and why.

I love small people and let me tell you why. Small people have only begun the socialization process. The process that robs many of us of creativity, the sense of wonder about the world around us, and that wonderful notion that dreams can come true. It seems that societies need for obedient workers that won't make too many waves replaces all that wonder with the seeming need for the latest fashions, cars, houses, consumer gadgets…. 

I love it when small people ask me why I founded Kozmoz. I love the look of quandry when I tell that we founded Kozmoz to do things that just were not being done to help those in need. I can see the wheels turning behind those bright and shiney eyes in those small heads…

"Mom and dad and teacher said to share and share alike, to help the other kids that fell down, to rush to the police when someone was hurt…" And when I tell them that one out of 7 of the people they see on the streets about them are not sharing in the economic and technological miracle driving our modern societies, they can't help but ask "why?" 

They cant process the fact that when our food bank delievery truck pulls up to the public housing complex that hundreds of people are lined up, excitingly awaiting fresh fruits and vegetables at no charge to add nutrition to their overly starchy nutrition deficient diets… After all, they just assume that it is natural that when someone falls down, that everyone stops to help them, just like their moms, dads and teachers told them to do. They think about the teacher telling them, "don't bring treats to school unless you bring some for everyone!" In fact I can remember helping my mom bake dozens of cookies when I was a small person myself to take and share with my classmates. And I remember the joy of sharing those chocolate chip cookies with my smiling classmates to this day.

But somewhere along the process to becoming a big person, other ideas supplant those egalatarian ideas. We learn about competition, survival of the fittest, the idea that those people that fall down are holding us back. We learn to betray each other, the climb the ladder on the back of those who were once our friends yet only to become the person we are competing with in order to obtain the limited number of brass rings. We learn to think that the disadvanted are lazy, stupid, and the cost of sharing with them is what is keeping us from having the shiny things that the advertising agencies have convinced us that we can't live without…

We also learn to categorize people in order to marginalize them. All we have to do is fail to see the person and in their place see them as a category to make it easy to dismiss them from the ideals we learned were right and good when we were small. Now we understand that we dont need to include, Muslims, Right Wingers, Left Wingers, Christians, Underachievers, etc… in our ideas of sharing, caring and enabling. The worst thing is that this same notion that keeps the less fortunate down, is also what robs us from the feeling of horror and disgust as our leaders send drones to dispach of those that are seen as only obstructions in our paths…. conveniently known not as people put only some obscure name that marginalizes them and makes it so easy to dismiss them.

And that is why I love small people. Because when they asked how they could help us pick up the ones that have fallen during the race, their eyes are full of compassion, their hearts are open, and they are ready to help RIGHT NOW! And everytime it brings healing to my cynical heart, and gives me hope for the future. Because these small people are the big people of tomorrow. And I beleive that when they become big people of position, who have resource, knowlege and talents that can make the world a world that included the weak in the miracles that the strong enjoy, that they will feel the joy in doing just that. 

I find myself believing that those future big people will be a new breed of big people. Big people that when faced with the needs of the less fortunate will not answer with, "I would love to help but I am just too busy", "I just can't afford to help right now", "you know, those people are the cause of their own problems", "that's not my job, that is the government's job"…. and all those excuses that I hear that keep the weak disenfranchised and rob our communities of the role that they could play if only included….

Today, I am blessed and full of hope and continue to believe that all will someday have a cookies of their own to share!


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