We can feel the depths of autumn in the colors of the leaves on the trees, the blue of the sky, and the acorns in the park.
In the daily scenes of children, we can also sense the passage of time as they have grown from spring to fall over the summer.
We believe that early childhood is an important time for children to learn many things in a safe environment, such as developing a sense of trust in those around them and building an unshakable sense of self-esteem and self-respect through repeated experiences of playing to their hearts’ content in accordance with their interests.
Today, in many parts of the world, sad wars are taking place that challenge the dignity of the individual. There are people there who are losing their lives simply because they were born there. The leaders of countries and groups have their own non-negotiable beliefs and arguments, and it is difficult to condemn one side or the other as being at fault. It is also understandable that people who have had the lives of their family members, friends, and other loved ones taken away from them would want to retaliate against the other side.
Even in our daily lives at YGK, fights and arguments sometimes start because of differences in feelings or a slight lack of mutual respect. In such situations, we do not say, "Yes, let's make up!" Instead, we are there to acknowledge each child's feelings and emotions and listen carefully to what he or she has to say. By being sincere in our dealings with each other, without being conceited or complacent, the tension between the two parties will gradually loosen and dissolve.
For many of the children who gather at YGK, English is not their first language, and many of our teachers are not native speakers of Japanese. In such an environment, it takes more time for children and teachers to build a relationship of mutual trust than it does for those of us with the same native language, and the barriers to overcome seem a little higher. This can sometimes be a strong frustration. That is why the joy is felt many times stronger when they face each other, listen to each other, consider each other's feelings, and communicate with each other. When I see such children and teachers, I believe that this is peace.
I feel a sense of uneasiness surrounding us now. However, I am happy that peace exists here, even if it is small, and I want to move forward step by step, believing that when the children grow up, the world will be a better place than it is today.