Having studied and worked abroad in the field of International Cooperation for a while, I have got great opportunities to encounter and experience diverse life styles and conditions.
In UK, I was quite impressed by the university staff who would left the workplace at 5 pm sharp with no hesitation. When secretaries were in vacations, no operations were progressed, but no one would seem to be bothered. California was a place as through developed and developing regions co-existed in the same block. People are smily, but always with a dash of anxiety. Pakistan, was far better place for me to work and live with a new born baby. People were incredibly kind to babies and their mothers. All doors were opened by people as though they were automatic. While eating at restaurants, my daughter was taken care of by the restaurant staff. Nicaragua, my second home country, is always a lovely place. Though many people are not economically well-of, they are those who would offer the last piece of bread to their guests. Currently, I am living and child-bearing in Chiba, spending a suburbia life, bearing with two-hour commute to the university where I teach. No complain at all, but tiredness haunts me like my own shadow.
These experiences have given me a habit to ask what happiness, well-being and sustainability can be for people, society and the nature. Life goes on no matter where and how we are on this planet, without being right or wrong. However, I no matter of being economically developed or developing the countries are, I feel that there is a sort of direction for human-being as a whole to proceed to gradually; from pursuing growth to engaging with maturity.
My on-going inquiry is how to design communities where we can recover our life of “human scale”: How can each person become able to flourish one’s abilities and utilize resources available locally at most to enrich and enjoy everyday? How can we generate and refine institutions, policies, and programs to assist people helping themselves? How can we shift our mode of thinking, or re-create “cultures” so that we can leave greed and feel satisfied with what we have for sharing with other people?
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