生きがい (Ikigai): a reason for being, a reason to live
This past week, one of my close friend's father was diagnosed with late stage cancer and only have a few months to live.
With three days, my friend put a pause on her academic program, packed up her life in the States and got a flight back to China.
She knows that, at the end of her father's life, being with family is his reason to live each extra day.
She feels that, at the current moment of her life, being with her father is all she want for any day.
This devastating news led me to reexamine what is the most meaningful to our lives. Or, what makes us have 生きがい。
On the surface, our 生きがい can derive from work, school, or any of our duties.
Nevertheless, all of these are rooted back into our relationship with other people and our identity within the society.
Work or duties that fill us with 生きがい often means that we believe our work is contributing to our family, community, or society.
In other words, the connection with and the care for others give us 生きがい。
Wish we all have a heart to care for others that fill us with reasons to live.
Tea students in the Urasenke Urbana-Champaign association