Tonight, some of the organizers at the Takarazuka International Friendship Association, invited us to go out to dinner to celebrate the New Year. "Us" was non-Japanese members of HPAC and Keita, whom they knew from onsen and last year's TIFA concert. Why do they want to hang out with foreigners? Why is there a Takarazuka International Friendship Association? Sometimes I can only think of how one of them somewhat derisively laughs at the fact that I don't speak Japanese, says I'm cute, asks what Japanese foods I eat. Sometimes I feel like a wind-up monkey and not in a fun way.
But I have to think that these gatherings and the organization are created for more than the purpose of amusement for the members who volunteer and organize with them. But is it more than for the purpose of making them feel good for reaching out; or out of curiosity, that human trait that brings novelty and beauty into our lives? Why are people nice? There is part of me that is wholly suspicious of it, that believes it goes only as far as themselves, even if it does epiphenomenal good along the way. But there is also the part of me that knows loneliness, and understands the simplicity of wanting to connect with another person. And whether that is a selfish want or not, I don't know.
Life can be very hard. People can carry a great deal with them and carry on. I have no desire to leave someone alone when they reach out a hand, as casual as it may seem.
And on the surface, perhaps even more deeply than that, the night was very enjoyable. They paid for our dinner, which was a very generous gesture. One of them gave me a painting he had done of a sheep, to welcome in the year.
Perhaps there is no such thing as one genuine type of kindness. I tend to think we are all trying; trying to look upon the world favorably in some way in order to receive the same in return. And what harm is there in this? We have incomplete control of our words and actions, our intentions don't always transpire as we had wished, but the intention is there, or at least I believe it is. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu.