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"Building Meaningful Connections: The Impact of Loving Unconditionally in True Friendship"

When I lived in Japan (yes for almost 5 years!), I loved that the Mama San we were able to bring into our home loved our children unconditionally. Believe me, when I tell you hiring someone to come into your home in a strange country, where I didn't speak the language, was one of the hardest things I've ever done.

My 3-year-old son and newborn daughter had a military dad and a mom who served as executive director at the international school there. Trust was essential in hiring someone who would love my children unconditionally.

In those five years, I came to love Mama San like a mother, and she cared for my children as if they were her grandchildren. She loved them unconditionally.

I left Japan with a greater appreciation for the words "unconditional love."

This 5'2-inch woman who spoke very little English and this 5'5-inch brown girl from the urban core of Detroit, Michigan, formed a bond. It wasn't about the employer or employee relationship. It was about human relationships and finding common ground to communicate.

Often, she and I would use hand gestures, or she'd go and find her son who worked on the base to interpret for her.

But it wasn't easy finding this person who would come into my home to take care of my children. Why?

Well, American media during that time created distrust and a narrative around who black Americans were during that time. Rap music was rising, drive-by shootings were being broadcast, and Crips and Bloods was the version of black Americans most people in places like Misawa, Japan saw on television.

When we put our ad for a Mama San into the local paper, one by one older Japanese women looking to work for American military families would come by the house. The typical reaction at the time when I answered the door went something like this..."Oh no, no... sorry Mama San no can work."

At first, I didn't understand until one of the other black military moms told me over lunch what the issue was. I was dumbfounded.

And then one day the bell rang and this 5'2" woman came to the door. I answered the door with my daughter in my arms. Mama San immediately took the baby from me and said in broken English, "I work for you. I love black American families." I became teary-eyed because she wanted me to know she understood, and she saw me and my children and not our skin color.

Mama San and I would have wonderful conversations before I left for work in the morning, and when I returned home at night. She taught me to make wonderful Japanese dishes and would extend a blessing to my children every evening before she returned home to her own family for the night.

Loving someone unconditionally is a skill. It's a heart skill. More than that, it's a choice. It's a heart choice. We get to make heart choices every day.

I picked up a card while I was in Japan (I keep it on my desk to this day), that had the words Mary Anne Radmacher wrote, “I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world,” which is one of my favorite quotes, and reminds me that I saw unconditional love, heart-led love in action where the people didn't look like me, speak the same language and in a place on the other side of the world.

On my last day in Japan, Mama San and I clung to one another and cried, we had become family. With promises to stay in touch (we did for about 2 years), I often wonder to this day, about this woman who taught me so much about leadership and love... unconditionally.


WEBB Advisory Group 2024 ©All Rights Reserved

"Inspired (In Spirit), we live and move and have our being."

Prayer for the Week

Dear God,

We are imperfect humans moving along this journey of life, attempting to come home. Help us all be worthy of the calling you have on our lives. We need your guidance and direction to just "BE" human and divine. We need your light to shine unconditional love upon us. Teach us the Way, the Truth, and the Light of unconditional love.

“Be Attitudes of Inclusion” ©2024.

"And So It Goes..." is a weekly blog post. We welcome the voices of all people. Are you interested in writing for us? Let us know.

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