The day I found a key to . . . .

Today, we had a discussion with the Mayor of Minamisanriku. He has a strong will to save residents’ lives from tsunami and he is enthusiastic about making the town a better place.

While I was listening to his story I came up with a question. I wondered, “What makes him such a passionate person, what gives him power?” So I asked him. He answered so simply, it was his colleagues who died in 3/11. It’s his desire not have people to die due to tsunami any more. These were the drivers of his passion.

Throughout the discussion, I realized that his eyes had fire; I felt his love for his town and the people who live in it. Also, I suppose that love IS one of the driving forces that enables him to overcome a lot of difficulties and obstacles.

After lunch, we had an opportunity to have a session with local high school students and adults who organize projects to get area high school students involved with the city’s redevelopment. We discussed many things including the aims of this program. As the discussion got going, suddenly I felt my misty consciousness become clear. I’m not sure what it was however; I gained clarity on the idea of ‘community’. I certainly knew that ‘community’ meant this wonderful something that was created at a time with a group of people. Yet, through the discussion and my experiences of the day I gained a greater sense of what community really meant. It’s about connecting with each other on not only a “community” level but also an individual level.

As I reflect on the evening, the sky full of stars, that I must get used to, somehow looked much brighter than usual when I look up and see.

Fumiya Otani
Fukuoka Senior High School

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