No Youth Camp is being held today because of no participants. I have told another minister that I'd like to postpone the camp till summer or fall break, but I was hoping a few students might show up here without application. But so far, no one except my family is here.
Surprisingly, I was not disappointed with this fact. Because I don't have any youth activity here, I had nothing to lose. Rather this gave me a good opportunity to think of the future. As I always say I'm a super optimist. I'm not going to quit this efforts for kids. We are going to re-plan and reschedule it, after hearing opinions from more parents.
The followings are reasons why children didn't come to this camp at this time. I have heard it from parents and I have thought it, too.
1. Notice was late. The information was out on March 5. Many parents had already plans for the spring break. It should be out at least one month prior to the last day of school.
2. Saturday and Sunday were not good. Children are busy. I have learned on Saturdays, they do play sports and on Sundays, some of them go to churches. Weekday could be better.
3. Program was not so attractive . Activities listed such as Sushi-making, bon dance practice, and Japanese lessons, are actually what I can do for children, but it was not what children want to learn. I heard movie-watching was not so attractive for children.
4. Parents were still afraid of religious connection. All the children I talked to, said they want to come to the camp, but no inquiry from their parents. Ironically, I have said "No, you cannot go", too, to my boy every time when he was invited to participate in the fun programs by other religious churches.
After all, I've realized that all the bad reasons belong to me. It was my fault which reminded me of Mencius(372–289BCE), a Chinese philosopher's words.
"If a man love people, and he was not loved by them, let him turn inwards and examine his own benevolence.
If a man is trying to lead the country, and nobody is following him, let him turn inwards and examine his wisdom.
If a man is polite to others, and they do not return his politeness, let him turn inwards and examine his own feeling of respect.
If a man cannot have a good result, he must turn inwards and examine himself thoroughly in everything.
When a man is doing what is right, the whole country will turn to him with respect. "
I don't have any ambition or intention to lead the country, but I'd like to follow what Mencius said. By looking for the bad reasons, there must be a hint for the success in the future.
There is also a wonderful Japanese saying, "Shippai wa seiko no moto," meaning "Failure is the mother of success," or "Failure teaches success."