"tetsudai" 手伝い which means to help/assist. It's the holiday season and while it's very important to be at home spending time with family and friends, thinking about gifts, and enjoying (some of) the time off, there's also some other things that we could do with our extra free time.
Two weeks ago, my friend organized a "Sandwich Day" which saw 8 of us spend one Sunday morning making about 130 PB&J and tuna-mayo sandwiches and then walking around the Downtown Eastside handing them out to those in need. We didn't choose who got a sandwich, we simply walked around and offered them to anyone we saw.
Most of the people were extremely grateful but some, interestingly, were rather picky ("No rye bread??", "No chicken salad??") or tried to get more than one. This is particularly interesting because, just as how it was easy for me to take many things for granted and overlook just how fortunate I am, they were doing conceptually the same thing, just on a different level. I wasn't as aware of the time I myself would ask for options when, really, I should've just been more appreciative that I even had an option in the first place. It was a simple yet eye opening thing to have done. And it only took about 3 hours out of my day.
Another thing about "helping" is that I've noticed recently the newly graded belts have been stepping up, both voluntarily and when I ask them, to help out with the younger/lower ranking belts, be it helping them line up, fixing their belts, or teaching them a few moves here and there. It's great seeing the kids grow into their responsibilities slowly and, with some guidance here and there, generally doing a good job.
One curious thing I've seen is how some kids will say or do things that I never noticed I did. I guess because many of the students learned some of what they know from how and what I teach, when it's their turn to do so, they sometimes start with what they've seen me do or hear me say. Unfortunately, that sometimes leads to moments of "Do I do that/look like that?!?" haha...... oh well, it's a bit of a reality check and gives me a chance to be critical of my own teaching since I can essentially take a step back and watch myself... and it's helped me change things here and there as I try to improve as a teacher.