At Dulwich College Shanghai Puxi, we believe strongly that readers are leaders, and leaders are readers. Our school culture encourages every student to embrace the magic of stories at all ages. We do this together on a daily with class storytimes for younger students and morning time reading for older students. However, encouraging students to devour books starts with our own reading habits, so getting down to the pleasure of reading, we asked our teacher of Business Studies, Ms. Francine Hearn what she has been reading lately.
Here is her contribution to the Dulwich Good Reads collection:
“Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life”
This book focuses directly on wellbeing and mental health. This book was recommended to me by a student I once taught. Our mentor group at the time had regularly shared reading lists, held discussions and book swapped over the years. This book is an introduction to the art of living based on the longevity secrets of the residents in Ogimi, Okinawa where there is an unusually high concentration of centenarians living. Ikigai is about identifying your purpose in life and the reason why we get out of bed in the morning, and then pursuing and nurturing that purpose. As a teacher over the years I have come across senior students who have become so fixated on academic scores that they lose the joy of learning along the way. Life balance is delicate and being mindful about wellbeing and nurturing areas in our lives that bring us happiness and joy is really important. Sometimes we need to be reminded of that, and be disciplined about taking time to nurture our wellbeing. This book revealing the Okinawan centenarians' secrets. It discusses how they leave urgency behind; by keeping doing what they love for as long as possible. It focuses on nurturing friendships and living in the moment. And it discusses the importance of participating in communities. The book provides practical tools to help you discover your own personal ikigai.
I recommend this book to all students in the senior school, and parents too…because after all, who doesn't want to find happiness in their every day?