Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Pass it forward!
Recently some heartwarming news here in Japan has been the anonymous donations of the expensive mandatory backpacks (so called "Randoseru"), writing utensils, toys and other gifts handed over to schools for use (don't ask me how they decide which kids should benefit from the gifts and which ones get nothing). The donations have been anonymous but signed with "Naoto Date", the name of a character in a popular anime from the 70's (ok, might have been a comic too, don't know the details) who becomes a wrestler known as "Tiger mask" (wrestling in a... ... tiger mask) the wrestler grew up in an orphanage but uses his newfound success and wealth as a wrestler to give gifts back to the orphans in the orphanage he grew up in. Ok, I think that's the story at least, I just know what they said at the tv news.
What has happened is that the initial donations triggered a large number of copycats donations across the nation, most of them done in the same way, anonymous but signed "Date Naoto". Heartwarming news for a change and created quite the news here in Japan a week ago (it seems to have cooled off now).
I felt inspired by this and left two bottles of soda that I know one of my colleagues like on his desk with a note exclaiming it's a gift and signing it Naoto Date hoping to spread these acts of generosity inside the company as well. Immediately after seeing the note, he comes over to my desk (probably in the correct knowledge that the only one that would do anything close to a practical joke in the company would be me) loudly exclaiming "This is you, isn't it?!", of course, trying to not ruin anything I keep a straight face and deny completely but commenting on what a heartwarming act of generosity it is, as he walked away he mumbled "You're strange, but I'm still keeping the drinks you know!".
Some people really need to open their hearts more!
(and yes, this "Tiger Mask" character is the inspiration for "King" in the Playstation Tekken fighting game series)