Teaching in Perspective

I remember sitting in my college counselor’s office in high school for help with college applications. She went on to ask me what I wanted to do in life. I, being the typical 18-year-old and trying to find any way to get out of my small town, gave her a shrug. She then proceeded to stare at me for what felt like a minute and responded, “You should be a teacher.”

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

As I finished my first year of teaching in Japan, this statement has come to my mind and forced me to believe that my college counselor was a fortuneteller. However, as I am no longer a young adult, I’ve taken her words into a larger perspective that involves more than just standing in front of a classroom. Teaching isn’t always a money paying career that you have to go to school for. In fact, when you think about it, we’re all teachers in our own way. Think about your mother, your best friend, someone you look up to, even a celebrity. These are all individuals that hold some sort of information meant for you and the world to experience. And while it may not sound glamorous telling people you’re a life teacher, knowing your role in life and giving to others is an important value to help you grow and become a genuine person.

Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

When I first arrived in Japan, I was overwhelmed and quite scared of what I’d signed up for. But it wasn’t the language I was frightened of, or even the idea of living on my own in a foreign country. Being placed in front of a classroom with random (and equally scared) children and asked to teach was a fear I thought would destroy me. And it should have. I had little experience with teaching, my Japanese was decent but not enough to talk with my teachers, and how could I teach a language that has a word with 179 meanings (look up “run”)? The jet lag and job meetings were making me miss the bigger picture of my job description. For anyone interested in teaching English in another country, the most important teaching experience is you. You’ll find it weird at first, but everything about you is an expression of a world people have never seen.

Usually when I teach, I’m using English and Japanese to explain the lesson to my students. With that being said, I don’t think I’ve ever been successful with my use of Japanese. But I’ve used this “flaw” as a way to show my students it is okay to make mistakes. Mistakes should be embraced because it shows our effort and allows us to get closer to improving. My students seeing my approach with their language allows them to interpret a way to approach English without being discouraged. I also give them the opportunity to know who I am.

Going to school every day, I’m asked questions ranging from “what kind of fruit do you like,” to “do Americans use chopsticks to eat?” While some questions may seem quite silly, I’ve started to understand that my reaction and response to the questions are important. A Japanese student asking his friend about a fruit he likes is an easygoing conversation compared to the same student asking me this question in the hallway. It’s impossible to see it on the surface, but conversing with me opens his or her minds to an interaction with someone from another culture, another background, and another experience. A simple answer like “mango” could turn into me talking about my childhood and eating mangos all year round on an island. Saying, “of course we do” to using chopsticks turns into me explaining the difference between having ramen in America in relation to Japan. I give my curious peer the opportunity to know someone from abroad, and open doors to being interested in other cultures.

Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

Personal experiences, cultures and languages are important ideas to share and teach to others. But the beautiful thing about teaching is that you’re also able to learn in the process. Since I came to Japan, I’ve learned so much about myself from interacting with Japanese and international people alike. I’ve given advice to family and friends, and in many instances realized I should take my own advice. My comfort zone has been the biggest teacher throughout my stay in this wonderful country. I open my mind up to things I’m unfamiliar with. I stop fighting the current and go with the flow. But the best idea I’ve learned is self-expression and self-acceptance. Whether it’s my race, my nationality, or even my hair, I’m a unique person that should be able to give my enthusiastic values and experience to people around the world. Inside and outside of the classroom, I hope to teach others I encounter to do this as well, while in the process of learning more about them.

Give it up for those who provide beautiful pictures:

Alexis Brown   Priscilla Du Preez Charles Deluvio Christin Hume

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

What Role Do You Play in a Team

Of the diverse kinds of people with different values and beliefs, good team members can be broken down into five categories: the thinker, the inspiration, the giver, the executive and the idealist.

The Thinker

Taken By Ben White from Unsplash

Logical and intellectual, the thinker is excited by ideas and theories. Thinkers are absorbed by their thoughts and can spend long periods of time deep inside their minds. They are less stimulated by the external and find more satisfaction delving into their own thoughts. Usually quiet and reserved, the thinker is mysterious and hard for people to get to know.

The Inspiration

Taken By Angello Lopez from Unsplash

The inspiration is capable of rallying people around them and lifting their spirits. Creative and enthusiastic, they refuse to let society shape their lives and must live in accordance with their intuition. Inspirations do not hesitate to express themselves and their eloquent qualities make them great leaders: people are drawn to their open mindedness.

The Giver

Taken and/or Provided by Rawpixel.com from Unsplash

Possessing outstanding people skills, the giver is popular and sensitive to other’s needs. The giver thrives in the company of others and they find joy in making people happy. Their empathetic nature makes them effective leaders with the ability manage teams. Selfless and pious, they relinquish the needs of their ego for the good of the whole group.

The Executive

Taken by Anete Lūsiņa from Unsplash

With their strong personalities, the executive works well under pressure and is comfortable with making tough decisions. Their strong organizational skills are invaluable to big projects and group efforts. The executive values precision and efficiency, making them very productive individuals who often acquire important titles and leadership positions.

The Idealist

Taken by Brooke Cagle from Unsplash

Well learned and strong willed, the idealist has a well-developed value system that edifies society. They are fiercely loyal and will fight for their beliefs with great zeal.
If your personality fits any of the above descriptions, you maybe an invaluable member of any team so get involved and get the collaborative efforts going!



Please give it up for those people who provide beautiful pictures:

Saksham Gangwar Angello Lopez Ben White rawpixel.com Anete Lūsiņa Brooke Cagle

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Man Up And Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Photo by Charlie Foster on Unsplash

The truth hurts. Relationships are always hard when it comes to the time when you realize that both of you do not share the same feeling to each other. You might like or love them, but they do not return the sentiment. They just think of you as a friend or acquaintance.  I just ended one self centered love I had for a girl. I would like to keep this as a lesson in my heart, and I share you what I have learned. I hope when I get older, I will read this again and tell my kids not to make the same mistakes. Or if they do, I would like them to know how to make different ones than I did.

Over the past year I experienced stupid selfish egoistic love toward a girl. She already told me that she could not do it anymore and she did not want a relationship with me, but I could not stop thinking about her and kept lying to myself and her as well saying that I was just her friend. And after that, I was literally obsessed with the thought of trying to get attention back from her. I tried everything I could do. I endured most of the things that you can come up with if you are in love with someone who is not in love with you: listening to her when she was weak and not good in terms with her boyfriend, and supporting her emotionally when she was upset.

Photo by Pelly Benassi on Unsplash

Do you know how it feels to be close to a girl you like but who likes someone else? It is a nightmare. You listen to her talking about her boyfriend and all you can do is just accept the reality and it is gut-clenching knowing that she would never be yours.  I wanted to tell her that I was still in love with her so many times. However, I chickened out at every turn. At some points, I told her that “I do not want you to text me anymore when you feel lonely and I do not like someone who is blind in love” which was partially true- but at the same time a total lie. I was honest in that I did not want her to talk about her boyfriend. I was trying to forget about her so that it would be easier for me to move on with my life. Yet, I still wanted to communicate with her.

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

This happened because I had trouble accepting that she was having an incredibly amazing time with him – more than I had with her.  There was nothing I could do about it then. I then made up my mind not to text her so that I would be able to forget about her eventually. I would look at the text that I was going to send her over and over, feeling uneasy and exhausted… and then I sent it. When I got a text from her saying, “have a good life,” it hurt my feelings. I thought I must be a person she did not care about that much, but in the same breath I felt that I released myself from the pitiful uncertainty and I finally did something for myself.  However, it was true that I was still thinking about her even she stopped texting me. But it was good to break it off since I was almost lost myself.

Photo by Daryan Shamkhali on Unsplash

Sometimes I checked her on Facebook and I saw pictures everywhere that she was very happy with her boyfriend and there were no photos of me. Then I gradually snapped back into reality that she was now out of my life totally, and told myself that I had to move on. As the days went by, I started to think about her less and more about school and work. Sometimes, whenever I smelled her perfume on a train, I thought of her and made me breathless.

One time, I was hanging out with a different girl (who was from Finland) on my birthday. She was kind enough to spend time with me. We walked around my city until around 10 P.M. She was nice and really smart, however, the other girl was still in my head and that prevented me from taking one step. And I just said to the Finnish girl, “Thank you for coming” and took her to the nearest station. And that was the time I realized that I could not move on until I made sure how she felt about me again.  The more I thought about her, the more upset I became. Friends told me that I looked depressed sometimes. I was tired enough but put my smile on my face. I did not even give attention to people who were judging me. I wrote an article long time ago (article on December 20th love yourself first).

Then, I bought a ticket for the U.S. I was not going back to the U.S just to talk to her, but also to make business plans with my friend.

Photo by Talal Ahmad on Unsplash

In retrospect, If I had gone back there just to see her and make sure, I would have been the stupidest person in the world. On my birthday, I hoped she would text me. She did not.  The next day, I received a text from her saying “happy belated birthday“. And I was so happy in that I got a text from her! I remembered how happy she was with her boyfriend and remembered all the joyful pictures on Facebook, so I played it cool as if I was really not interested in her anymore. This was a lie.  She asked me if I wanted to go to Cuba with her. I told her that I might if I had money. I mean come on, it would be stupid to go to another country with a girl who you know has a boyfriend.

Photo by Jacob Morrison on Unsplash

So I came back to the U.S and I saw her again. It was all great. She was beautiful as usual and more sophisticated than ever – and still with her boyfriend. I was hoping that she would leave him soon so that I would be able to have a conversation and ask her if she was interested in me or not. This was foolish.

My closest friend would constantly tell me that I had been insanely stupid and helpless as hell, and begged me not to see her anymore and told me all the bad things that could happen. I ignored their warnings, because I was thinking about her again. It was true that I was on the top of the world when I was with her, but I did not tell her. I was such a coward. There have been moments that I could have told her about my feelings a lot of times but I kept lying to myself and her.

There was a moment I was mad at her.  I regretted that I was mad quickly, but it was an honest feeling. And of course that got her uncomfortable and made her distant. Since then, I was not able to see her for almost three weeks. This was the hardest part of the trip, and I wanted to confirm that we were done before she was disappeared from my life.

Since I could not see her, I decided to text her. I started texting all the feelings I had for her over the last year. The text was massive – almost a whole book – and she was kind enough to read through all of them. This time I was fully honest with my feelings. Never in my life had I poured out my feelings as I did in this text. I did not have much time in the United States and I thought I would not have time to see her again. After I typed all of feelings and sent them, I felt that I was finally free. The text was cathartic. And at the end of the day, I found out (as was obvious as it was at the beginning) that she was not interested in me at all.

But it was good at least to me that I could hear it again straight from her mouth. And she made me realize that I was so demanding and obsessed as hell. I realized that I was being really egoistical and that I had done all this for myself and not thinking about her life or reactions. And she told me that I did not have to be her friend. Oh well, the truth hurts, you know. And I had to admit the fact that I probably did not love her but was just being needy and childish because someone got her and I did not, and I should care about her happiness as well as my own. People make stupid choices, but it only helps us learn something new and teaches us how we just are going to apply it to the next situation.

So what I learned is:

  1. Don’t be so dramatic (even that is the way you are).
  2. Don’t hang out with someone if you are not willing be a friend to them in the first place.
  3. Do not lie to yourself and whoever you are dealing with.
  4. If you love someone after a rejection, just leave them alone.
  5. Get to know the truth as fast as you can.
  6. Do not postpone your decision until it is too late and waste your time.    
  7. If you are such a dramatic guy as I am, I recommend you to make fast moves otherwise you will waste your time.
  8. Don’t love someone too much when they do not love you

But at the end of the day, communicate well. Be open with your friends and lovers. If it is hard to end a relationship, do it anyway, because it is not healthy for you in the long run.

Photo by Ryan Franco on Unsplash

Give it up for those who provide beautiful pictures:

Charlie Foster Pelly Benassi Andrew Neel Daryan Shamkhali Talal Ahmad Jacob Morrison Ryan Franco

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

5 tips to accept and love more

Maintaining any kind of relationship is hard. Occasionally we are hurt, irritated, and exhausted mentally because of all the issues, subtle tensions, and…

Maintaining any kind of relationship is hard. Occasionally we are hurt, irritated, and exhausted mentally because of all the issues, subtle tensions, and misunderstandings that rise up between you and others. We all know that everything has its time, which means every relationship has its end for better or worse, and that it is tragic if the one you love most is the one you have to put an end to.

However, there is a simple, yet difficult mindset to follow to maintain any relationship for good. I am confident in myself that I am expert at this, and I would like to share the mindset that I have developed to optimize my life as well as others’ at the times: Accept and love them more.

I am not here to tell how generous or thoughtful of a person I am, but this is simply little things that I have been told from my friends who always help me through difficult times and spoil me in every way they can use to make me feel that I am a capable being!

And in order to conduct this simple way to maintain your relationship with others, you always have to have these four guidelines:

  1. Do not dislike or hate others ever in the first place.

  2. Always have your opinion regardless of others’ opinion.

  3. Find people who share this mindset, and be friend with them.

  4. Show your true colors to them (Be honest)

  5. Compromise as much as you can

I know that you might say that it is impossible not to dislike people when they hurt you. However, look, don’t let your ego get in your way to make you greedy and ugly. Here’s how to deal with each situations:

  1. When you meet others for the first time
Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash

One of the things I am not appreciating is when my friend always looks at people, and tries to bring up funny jokes that are race oriented. As matter of fact, I hate it when he does that. Just leave them alone. Well anyway, what I do when I meet new people is to ask questions and listen to what they say. And accept whatever things they say. If they are vague about the point they are making, I will ask them about it to let them talk more in detail. I love people who have been having different experiences and have been going through different paths, but have these 4 principles in common. If they have different opinions, without these 4 principles it will be hard for me to arrange the time I hang can out with them. And in order to categorize them into either friend or acquaintance, I will ask questions to them to get to know them. In addition to that, I will make an eye contact, have firm handshake and polite greeting to them.

  1. When you hurt others
Photo by Christian Sterk on Unsplash

This can happen at any time unintentionally or intentionally when you go back on a promise, when you break up with your partner, when you back-stab your friend, when you treat others like dirt. If you are the type of person who always hurts others, please don’t continue telling yourself that you are not a good person; instead learn from your mistakes and figure out how to make a positive impact in the future.

In this situation, you will not recover your reputation  until they accept and forgive you, and one thing that I would like to you remember is that you don’t have to rub in the past any longer if you regret your past already. There is no need for you to blame yourself on you for the rest of your life. A thing you can do to those you hurt is basically apologize and give them space  until they  cool down, and please have the mindset to accept yourself and love yourself more, which will better your relationship later in your life.

  1. When you get hurt.
Photo by Jose A.Thompson on Unsplash

This happened to me quite often when I was a teenager much more than I hurt others. However, I have learned lessons in each instance in order to maintain the relationship with those who once have hurt me. What I do when I get hurt is give myself time and space to simmer myself down until I finally get myself back on my feet to have a fresh start, and while I try to pick up these pieces of broken heart to reunite my feelings, I constantly tell myself that it was my fault for them to hurt me in the first place, and also I tell myself that I was not good enough for them to keep me in their lives.

Please don’t get ahead of yourself thinking that I am not confident enough to say that it was not my fault. It is my way to accept and love people more. The more I get hurt, the stronger and better I become. Plus another truth is that I do not victimize myself while thinking that it was my fault; rather , I appreciate those people who have hurt me since they are always the ones who taught me how useless, meaningless, hopeless of a man I am in this world; enough to beef up myself. I love myself more thinking that I can be much better. It goes without saying that without their hurting me, I would have been a totally confident man with no appreciation toward anything.

Because of that reason, I won’t dislike or hate them for the dare of my life. Of course, there were days that I hated on them, but those days are gone and fortunately left some food for thought for me that reshaped my discipline of how to deal with people like that. And for that reason, I always open my door for them to come back any time to reshape whatever the relationship is, and this time I will love them more with a leveled up version of me.

  1. When you are in an argument
Photo by Benjamin Balázs on Unsplash

My friends and I argue a lot, and at the end of the day, they always ask me if I dislike or hate  them due to the quarrels we had, and I always tell them that I do not dislike or hate them just because of our jumping at each others’ throats. They always look at my eyes with a little bit of doubt.

What I think about arguing with people is that it is the time for us to be honest with each other, and gives us a chance to make one’s point clear so that it won’t make things difficult between people later. However, how you control the situation afterward will differentiate the way of the relationship you and others will have later. What I do is just act natural and accept and love them more. There is no point for you to get upset in an argument since the bottom line of the argument is to make your point clear to let them know how you feel about things you are arguing over. It doesn’t matter if they bring up opposite opinions and argue back. You made your point clear, and if they do not accept it, it is not your fault.  You only need to tell them how you feel, listen to them and accept them even if they don’t do it back to you.

Speaking of accepting others in an argument, one of the ideas I like to think about is “do not dislike others in the first place ever”. If you dislike and hate someone in the first place, having an angry argument with them will only create dead-end chaos and a deadly relationship between you and them. So do not dislike and hate them in the first place, and always have the mindset to accept them. Surprisingly, this will only make the relationship much more solid. And do not forget to act naturally. I am not saying that you need to pretend, but I am saying that you need just to act naturally as your habit; in other words, you have to develop this skill practically through arguing with others over and over and learn how to control your emotions.

5. compromise.

Photo by Katie Hawrysh on Unsplash. Meet them in the halfway even if it’s impossible

I believe that most of people have these four disciplines in their hearts, but the only thing that will help you most in your life with others is the ability to compromise. However, the tricky part is that this cannot be done by yourself. This has to be done between you and others. If one of you all can not meet the other halfway, that is a dead end relation, and not to mention exhausting.

But this is not that difficult actually: please look around at people, friends, family; they are so happy with each other, and I believe that those people are the ones who care about each other with these 5 principles. Well now that I think about it, when you want to have a good friend, family and partner, they have to have those principle and must be able to compromise.

It is something you can do and you can be if you want to, and the time you meet these people is the time you will have a good relationship that lasts for good!

Well after all, I now realize that I can put these 1615 words in two simple words: “Unconditional Love”. Well, thank you, Micheal Jackson for giving me this kind of mindset through your songs.

What is your way to get along with others? Share with RedDeer International!

Give it up for those who provide beautiful pictures:

Chelsea Bock rawpixel.com Benjamin Balázs Christian Sterk Jose A.Thompson Katie Hawrysh

This slideshow requires JavaScript.