SEARCHING FOR HAPPINESS
I went back to Japan and started to work as an English teacher. I had a normal job and city life again with my parents. But I realized that this wasn’t what I wanted to do.
So, I decided to live in the countryside and work for a farmer as an intern. I thought countrysides always had happier or more caring people. I learnt how to produce food and make everything without buying things.
I thought that if I didn’t buy anything, then I wouldn’t create waste. Creating a self sufficient lifestyle without having to consume things was the ultimate success.
WAS IT REALLY THE ‘ULTIMATE SUCCESS?’
It was a truly joyful time. We lived in small community. Everybody turned up at each other’s door with some vegetables, we cooked for each other every night and ate, laughed and sang. During the day we worked in the fields, sweating and helping each other. Everything came from nature without us trying to extract it. We’d plant a seed, then the vegetables and fruits would come. I felt that it was such an amazing life, I wanted to spend the rest of my life there.
Sometime later, I suddenly realized something. I thought that the outside world as “bad”, that we weren’t doing the right thing by consuming, spending and creating lots of waste. And that the countryside self-sufficient lifestyle was the answer.
But I realized that wasn’t the truth. Everybody in our world had to trade, exchange, connect and do things together. We can never be alone living the ultimate self sustaining life. Its not that you’re morally good or bad, but thats just not the life we’re supposed to have.
Everybody wants to be happy, lead a great life and wish for their family and friends have a lead a great life too. Who was I to judge anybody. I didn’t know what’s right or wrong. I was just a person trying so hard to search for the ideal ultimate happiness.
WHAT IS THE ULTIMATE ‘THING’?
Being in the countryside was great but there were still things for me to learn. I was still judging something. So I had to go out again to find the real ultimate ‘thing‘ that could benefit everybody. I travelled again to New Zealand to work, then back to Asia.
Every part of that journey just led back to the same message – it didn’t matter what your actions were. At the end its all about how you felt, appreciated and enjoyed the moment. And how you shared and contributed to others.
In the business world (I was also a small business owner), I realized that sometimes even if we wanted to do something for others, we could still get so carried away with daily tasks, focusing on how to make more money, how to package things better, and how to sell more. But when we focus too much on those aspects, we end up feeling empty inside.
I think B1G1 is one of the most lovely amazing thing that we can all do because it bridges the business world and the NGO charity giving world. Because they aren’t two separate entities. People running charities today need to create their own value as well. Its not about asking for money or donations. We can all be creative in exchanging values.
Through the business’s activities, consumers, customers, everyday individuals, and even the employees of those companies, everybody can participate in giving and exchanging values with each other. B1G1 is the connection point of all these feelings of giving. We are all connected. And that sense of connection is the most important piece in the search for happiness.
Masami founded B1G1 in 2007. In 2007, over 1,700 businesses around the world have become part of B1G1, creating more than 90 million giving impacts together.