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  • 2012 is a leap year which makes it even more of a reason to take a risk and do what your heart wants. On February 29 I will be hosting a Leap Day meetup at my house in Wazuka, Kyoto, Japan. I've been told by many in Japan that people here do not often express their true emotions and put up a protective wall to society. Japanese literature on the other hand shows that Japanese people are quite romantic and experience more emotions than they show such as hope, love, and curiosity. This Leap Day meetup is going to be a chance for the people of my town to talk about the risks they want to take and potentially this conversation could lead to new relationships and collaborations.

    I invited a friend's mother to the meetup and she immediately declined telling me that it just for young people. This led to a conversation about relativity of age which then led to her making the statement "older people can't have dreams." This BROKE my heart, and I wasn't going to let her get away with saying this. I told her that when we gain experience and age our dreams may become more realistic, but it doesn't mean they aren't dreams anymore. Our dreams may also become smaller, but it doesn't mean that we should stop trying to make them come true. The conversation ended here because I could tell she was starting to feel uncomfortable and I wanted to respect her space.

    Later that night she invited me to her house for dinner and in the middle of my second bite of food she said "I'm sorry, I did not give you a true answer earlier today. I realize my mistake, and you are right, I do have a dream." She went on to describe her work situation as a University professor. Her passion for preparing young adults to become productive and good people is sometimes dampened by a weak administration at her school. Since having the conversation about dreams she has realized that she could actually do something about it instead of becoming discouraged. She thanked me for my straightforward conversation and said she was going to have a new attitude at work. I told her that her dream may not be realized right away, but as long as she continues with this spirit she will be planting the seeds that will grow to positive change.
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