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Kindness to Pass Around

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I go to an international school in Japan, and I have been there for nine years. Many people come and leave our school in three years or so because of their fathers' jobs in Japan, but I have one very special who I still remember and keep in touch with. She taught me what kindness is.

When I was in fifth grade, I had a Korean friend called MinJi. MinJi and I were always together, and we often went to sleepovers at each other's places. I was always forgetting my books and bags all over the place. So MinJi was the one who was always helping me. MinJi was really smart and responsible so all the adults like her too. Even my mother said she wanted me to be more like MinJi.

One day at home, I suddenly realized that I had a reading assignment with questions and vocabulary. It was due the next day, but I had always forgotten to bring my book, vocabulary, and the questions! So I called MinJi in a hurry, as I always do, and asked if she had a fax machine at home, but she didn't. I was really worried about what would happen to me the next day, which was probably detention. I think MinJi felt that too. Suddenly she said she could read the book aloud to me on the phone! I was really surprised. The assignment was for a whole chapter so it really took a long time. She really took the time to tell me the story, and she even took the time to tell me the questions and the vocabulary.

After I was done, she talked for a few minutes about what happened in the latest TV show, but I was too thankful to her that I couldn't bring up the nerve to ask anything about it. I promised to help her someday, but she was too intelligent for me to help her too much.

I couldn't see her off when she went back to Korea. She left in the morning. We promised to IM each other sometimes, but in Korea she had many Juku (cram school) classes like English, Japanese, Piano, and Art so she is too busy to talk with me. 

Last year in spring, she came to Japan. We played at another friend's house. I was really surprised she didn't forget English, and Miki, our friend, could also speak English better by now so she could communicate more easily. I wanted to play outside like before, but she was too mature for that. I was a little disappointed because I remembered us running around like crazy in the park. 

I think MinJi doesn't remember that time anymore. But I once heard her say that I don't have to give back kindness. She said it was something you pass around, and if you are kind to other people, it will come back to you in another shape. So I always remember what she said to me so someday that kindness will come back to her.





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