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  • Last night 20 people came to this old house in a small village in Kyoto Japan to celebrate Leap Day. We celebrated with a feast of decadent American food and conversations of dreams and the risks involved. This is not something that Japanese people typically do, talk openly about what is ticking in their head.

    Farmers spoke about their vision to make their businesses more productive. A graduate student talked about her efforts to bring more city youth to the countryside to experience Japan's agricultural roots. The most productive conversation was with a high school student that stated that her dream is to become a stage designer. Adults in the room asked her what she was doing to make this dream come true. She said she was too busy with a part time job because she wanted money. This led to a deep discussion about the value of money versus doing what you love. People with more experience explained to the girl that they regret that they didn't focus more on what they really wanted as a youth and are just now realizing that money doesn't make them happy. They convinced her that she should seek opportunities to volunteer and connect with a community of people that are doing the things that she is interested in.

    The room may not have been filled with ambitious entrepreneurs or change agents, but we did what we could do in this little village to shine some light and move towards making the world a better place.
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