Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Dialogue with Japanese College Students in Tacoma

From Journey of Repentance 2009
What an exciting hour I had, sharing about our Journey of Repentance this afternoon with 25 Japanese students at Tacoma Community College. The students are here from Kitakyushu University, (北九州市立大学), in Tacoma's Sister City in Japan. Professor Gail Watters is giving them a summer course in English. Ms. Watters had the students following all the articles in The News Tribune, i.e., the controversy over repentance or asking forgiveness for the atomic and hydrogen bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The students were so attentive and receptive, and had well thought out questions. "Do most Americans really believe that the A and H Bombs were what ended the war?" "What do you think about American troops in Japan?" "Do you have peace activism in Tacoma?"

On my way home, I thought of how important it is to share the meaning of nonviolence with young people like these who are so eager to embrace that message. I sensed absolutely no resistance or opposition to that message. Our young people are our hope, not only for the future, but also for the here and now.

I was touched by the easy, gentle, cheerful rapport Ms. Watters had with her students.

-- Tom Karlin, July 21, 2009

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