Monday, August 9, 2010


Farewell! It was a great party thrown to honor a Japanese colleague that is heading HOME to Japan.

Last Friday night at a hotel ballroom in Dallas speeches were given, cards were signed, gifts were offered and exotic food was consumed. It was a "retirement" party for an aviation co-hort. Noel T. has been in the US for 15 years and now the parent company is re-locating him back to the land of the rising sun. The atmosphere was elegant and gracious but could not begin to match the eloquence of the guest of honor as he spoke. With his warm smile and happy eyes, in his soft voice he reminded his many long-time friends why he'd been so successful in his adopted country.

For years now he has been the inspiration behind his team which led his company to receive highest honors given in the industry. His simple philosophy brought laughter to the room, "if you lose power, your airplane will fall out of the sky."
And, "there are people depending upon that plane staying IN the sky."

As we Americans would say, "well, duh!!"

He went on to explain how that very simple philosophy would carry him through the next phase of life. He's planning to be very busy and no doubt very successful in his golden years. Now, his vision and his power is focused on "giving back to the community." His neighbors in Japan will be blessed. I think he's been "giving to the community" all his life. The respect and unity of his company's employees attested to that fact. He is much adored.

As this elder philosopher leaves us, his new younger replacement is moving to town. He too is gracious and in his elementary English introduced his kimono glad wife. She doesn't speak a word of English. They're leaving everything familiar and entering into the Dallas treadmill of life.

They seemed excited about their new assignment and ready to tackle American culture. Evidently their eyes are wide open to the challenges ahead.

I can't imagine entering the work force in a country that doesn't speak my language or where I must look up to everyone taller than me to even try to communicate. How about getting a drivers license at the DMV? Buying a house? Learning to read labels at the super-center? Missing family that is a world away? Navigating an iphone?
Shopping in the materialist capital of the universe? Understanding slang? TV commercials? Making an appointment with a dentist? Oh, my!

I'm afraid I would "lose power" quickly and fail the people depending upon me.

These lovely people are brave pioneers. I wish them well! WELCOME.

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