Learning from Japan

By Atty. Gloria Estenzo Ramos |February 07,2019 - 07:19 AM

Atty. Gloria Estenzo Ramos

I am currently on holiday in a beautiful snow-filled landscape in Japan and yes, loving every moment of it with dear family.

There had been heavy snowfall the past two days, with temperatures dipping. In this era of deep freeze in some parts of the world, we have to learn to be “smarter” when it comes to safe and comfortable winter clothing, especially as we are so used to our warm tropical weather.

Today, the sun shone brightly and it was a sight to behold amid the all-white scenery.

Japan has so many lovely, heritage-rich and picturesque places and  offers a plethora of lessons as well for its visitors.

Among the many things that has made Japan a favorite destination to many are the cleanliness of the surroundings, the manifest discipline of the people and the emphasis on comfort for everyone.

Used materials are segregated in bins, whether inside establishments or in the streets. One cannot see plastics and litters strewn anywhere, unlike in Cebu and many areas in the country, sad to say.

There is palpable discipline on the part of the people. Eateries encourage its customers to clean up, place the refuse in designated places and one even provided a ready wash cloth for cleaning the table after meals.

Imagine if we instill this strong sense of responsibility among Filipinos, we are assured of reaching greater heights that should extend to how we, as a people,  relate in matters of governance and the care for the environment.

In Japan, it is obvious that the convenience of the constituents and customers is paramount.

Public toilets are always clean and accessible and not to mention having state-of-the-art features that makes using toilets a comfortable experience.

Trains are almost always on time, except when  emergency situations crop up. That speaks a lot about commitment.

Comfort is very important. Luggage-free travel is now being practiced. “Visitors will be able to have their bags sent directly from the airport to their hotel and back, and even from one hotel to the next.”

My colleague, Jason Baguia, had a very interesting piece on Travel Ergonomics in yesterday’s issue of Cebu Daily News Digital. It should strike a chord with everyone, especially those given the responsibility to ensure that citizens and young children are molded in such a way that discipline and responsibility are values that are deeply ingrained in each one.

With so much beauty and natural resources that surround us, it is time for us to take ownership and care for what is left of them as stewards that protect them, instead of being the heartless destroyers that we had been for so long.

As Eleanor Roosevelt was quoted to have said, “In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.”

Will you take on the responsibility to protect our ailing planet?

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