Mindfulness of Others

Mindfulness of others…merely three words yet leave a lasting impact. According to Jon Kabat-Zinn, Professor of Medicine emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he founded its renowned Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Clinic in 1979, mindfulness is “not really about sitting in the full lotus…pretending you’re a statue in the British Museum. Simply put it, mindfulness is moment-to-moment awareness.” And this present-moment awareness has been deeply ingrained into the Japanese psyche for centuries. In a viral video about Japan entitled “Mindfulness of Others” doing simple things spells amazing miracles. In Japan, people act with others in mind instead of only thinking of themselves, an example is letting people pass on the escalator. In other countries, one can make signs and people won’t still listen. Everyone automatically does the right thing to make life easier for everyone else and it’s like that with everything. One can nap on a crowded subway because people are quiet. One can enjoy clean streets because people don’t litter. One can feel like royalty because service crews serve customers with a smile and a bow. The culture of respect creates an unbelievably safe atmosphere that leads to modern day miracles. The most striking thing instilled in that video was “when you cultivate a society where people are mindful of others, life is better for everyone. It’s the lesson that the rest of the world can learn from Japan.”

Here in San Carlos City Division, we are oftentimes reminded during our seminars, trainings, competitions and everyday transactions that we are in “Japan” which means we need to be mindful of others just like the Japanese in their dealings with other people and with the surroundings. It is befitting to throw wastes properly, clear out tables from mess, flush the toilet for the comfort of the next user, line up and wait patiently for one’s turn in signing in the registration forms or even during meal time. Such simple acts bring fulfillment to the soul.

As we relish  rubbing elbows with other delegates from other divisions, let us be reminded that it is not the medals or trophies we bring home that matters, it is the simple act of random kindness and mindfulness of others that we manifested during the competitions which made a big difference and left a lasting impression.