“Why must we clean?”
Do you take good care of yourself? Or, do you have anyone to take care of you?
In Japanese public schools, cleaning is usually students’ task. They have the time for cleaning in the school schedule as well as lunch time. Each student has a different cleaning place. For example, classrooms, corridors, stairs, restrooms, the library, the gym, the playground (where they remove weeds).
Teachers walk around the school and check the places so that students won’t be lazy. Actually, few students clean their school very enthusiastically.
“Why must we clean?”
How many students have their own answers toward this question? I guess most students clean just because they must do it.
I was one of these.
When I was a schoolgirl, I did like cleaning, especially wiping the corridor with zokin, a dust cloth. It was a kind of plays for children. We called it the horse racing. On the beginning of the corridor, children sit in a line. One says, “Start!”. Then, all the horses on the line start to run toward the end of the corridor with their both hands on each cloth. We enjoyed cleaning in this way.
However, teachers don’t like to see students playing while they are cleaning. They tell the students to stop running in the corridor because it is dangerous. The horse racing at the cleaning time became forbidden for the same reason. The older students get, the less enjoyable cleaning is, I suppose.
Why must students clean their school? And what is expected for them to learn from cleaning?
“Someone must do it, so students clean by themselves. They can learn cleaning custom”. That can be one of the opinions. There are so many works in the society which someone must do. Teachers often say to the students, “when you join the society…”. It is because they are thinking of the students’ future.
So, students must clean for their future? So that they will work as a member of the society? I wonder if it is genuinely for the students. Students clean their school for the school, for other people in the school or for their future, above all, it has to be for themselves.
I, no longer a child, do like cleaning now. No one order me to clean, so I can skip when I don’t fee like. Not everyday, but once three days I clean my room, the bathroom and the kitchen, and really enjoy it. It is because I do it for myself. Now I understand that cleaning the places means taking care of someone who use there.
If you don’t like cleaning, I’ll ask you, “Do you take good care of yourself? Or, do you have anyone to take care of you?”
We need taking care of by someone else or by ourselves. The person who are good at taking care can do anything for someone or his/herself including what he/she doesn’t want to do. It means, you must do for yourself what you don’t want to do as well in order to take care of yourself.