Embracing Different Lenses

Embracing Different Lenses

Hi, there. As we find ourselves one week into our Tokyo adventure, I wanted to share some reflections on the lens through which we view our lives and the environments we inhabit. But first..

Weekly Inventory Check

Since I’m in Japan, I’ve noticed I’m struggling to meet my goals. It’s important to recognize when our goals need to adapt to our circumstances. Are you constantly chasing unattainable goals and commitments? Perhaps it’s time to consider adjusting your goals to better suit your lifestyle.

Embracing Different Lenses

Now, let’s talk about lenses—both literal and metaphorical. Coming from Europe, I’ve always marveled at how differently Tokyo is designed, particularly in terms of accessibility for families. In the Netherlands, while the infrastructure is robust, I’ve noticed a gap when it comes to spaces designed with young families in mind. Public areas lack the cleanliness and amenities necessary for parents with babies.

Fast forward to Tokyo, where every corner seems to cater to the needs of families. Baby care rooms equipped with everything from breastfeeding areas to diaper changing stations are readily available. Elevators and escalators are designed with accessibility in mind for people with disabilities and young families alike. It’s a testament to Japanese society’s collective mindset, where everyone, including young families, is considered and accommodated.

In contrast, individualism seems to reign supreme in Europe. While there’s talk of inclusivity, the design often falls short, reflecting a disconnect between rhetoric and action. In Japan, however, the value placed on family and community is evident in every aspect of infrastructure design.

The lesson here is clear: our perspectives shape the world around us. Understanding the lenses through which different societies are built is essential for truly comprehending them. In Japan, the emphasis on collective well-being results in inclusive infrastructure that benefits everyone, while in Europe, individualism sometimes hampers such efforts.

Of course, Japan isn’t without its own challenges, and what works for one may not work for all. But as a young family navigating the world, I’ve found solace in Tokyo’s thoughtful design, which prioritizes accessibility and inclusivity.

Want More?

Human Rights Careers rightly point down the challenges within the Japanese Society while being a liberal democracy, hosting one of the largest economies in the world.
NCBA CLUSA discusses in one of the articles, the tension between collective well-being and individualism.

Reuters provides a comprehensive analysis of Japan’s livability, offering statistical data and rankings that highlight the safety and quality of life in Japanese cities, particularly for families.

Reel of the Week

Check out our reel of the week. In Japan, there is a longstanding cultural belief that if someone finds themselves unable to fulfill family responsibilities, leading to feelings of frustration and uselessness, the perceived solution may involve distancing oneself from the family, akin to a form of suicide. This practice highlights the prevalent collectivist nature in Japanese households, emphasizing the strong interdependence among family members.

Instagram post by @thisisvasl

The Weekly Vasl Podcast

Our episode on You Can’t Really Choose Who You Fall In Love With is out now! You can watch it below! I had a captivating new podcast topic to discuss with our beloved love doctor, Aruvi. In this latest episode, we delved into the intriguing differences between modern-day love and the romance of the past, particularly exploring the impact of social media on relationships.

We are also on Spotify, Apple, Google, and wherever you listen!

The Meet up

Our upcoming meet up is scheduled on the 31st of March where we’ll focus on delivering 10 toasts centered around the theme of failure. Additionally, we’ll engage in discussions about our personal experiences with failure, sharing stories and reflecting on the lessons learned. Join the session for an insightful afternoon.

Thoughts to Leave You With

Our experiences in Tokyo highlight the profound impact of societal values on design and accessibility. The contrast between Europe and Japan underscores the importance of considering diverse perspectives and prioritizing collective well-being. As we navigate through life, let’s remember to view the world through various lenses, appreciating the beauty and richness that comes from embracing different cultures and ideologies. By doing so, we can create a more inclusive and understanding society for all.

 A Reflection on Life’s Design The Weekly Vasl


Scroll to Top