Know you who you know?  XAN

How well do you know the people you see every day?

We walk the same roads, come to the same school, see the same people, do (mostly) the same classes and activities, and then we go home.

It is a routine. And we have gotten used to it.

Routines are useful because they can help us be efficient and productive…. But they can fool us into thinking that we truly know those people around us that are just familiar.

Last week, we had an information session for potential high school students (高校入試説明会), and it was my task to stand with Miss F., a third year Shin-Ai student and welcome the incoming visitors.

While waiting, there was not much to do, so Miss F. and I began to talk. She was very familiar to me, as I had taught her class and interacted with her last year, but this was the first time to chat with her one-on-one for a whole hour.

We talked and talked, and I was amazed by what she told me. We talked about her great achievements here at Shin-Ai, the university to which she was accepted, and her future plans. She told me about her family, her feelings, things she did not feel confident about…. on and on. It was a great discussion.

I was fascinated. Truly fascinated. I learned so much about her. I was stunned.

And it reminded me… Familiarity alone is not necessarily true knowledge.

That is why it is so important to sit and communicate with people. Not just about simple things like school work and tests, but about their backgrounds, their feelings, their successes… everything.

You will be amazed about what you can learn when you talk deeply with people, and how well you can build relationships with them when you do.

So try it. Break out of your normal routine, go to a person you see every day, and just sit and talk.