One of the best parts about living in Japan has been all of the amazing cultures that I have been able to experience during my time here. The Japanese culture itself has been incredible to learn about, but that is just the start.
I have been able to work with people from Japan, England, Australia, New Zealand, and the Phillipines. On top of that, I have gotten to visist Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan, China, Nepal, Indonesia, and Guam. I realize Guam is part of the US, but it does have its quirks.
This is not an attampt at a humble brag as much as it is an idea of the many different cultures I have gotten to experience. They all have different foods, languages, religions, historical sites, and the list goes on.
If I’m being honest there is a decent chance I never would have visited Asia had I not actually lived here, and what a loss to my life that would have been. It has not all been tulips and rose petals here, in fact it has been quite the opposite, but it has been an eye opening experience.
Most of us Americans have no idea just how great we have it. Even those living in poverty in the US have it better than billions of people in Southeast Asia. Yet many of the people here are very pleasant and welcoming.
We loud boisterous Americans could learn a lot from the humble demeanor of these cultures. Many of them are very tied to family. They all sacrifice so much to take care of each other and to just get through.
Every time I visit one of these developing nations, I am in shock at how far behind the rest of the world is. They live such basic lives, and most have so little to live for. But not only do many of them live, they thrive.
Not usually financially, but in the areas of kindness and openness that they personify, there are few equals in the world, with maybe the exception of the Africans I met in Europe. They are the kindest, most open minded individuals I have ever know.
There is so much we could learn from each other if we would simply try to understand the other side. If you consistenyly do that, you will find a peace and joy that cannot be masked, which is why I am grateful for different cultures.
What are you grateful for?