Engagement Diaries

Putting the effort

In a Japanese drama I used to watch, a couple had decided to get married. The man had requested to meet with the girl’s family (who lived away from the city) to properly ask for her hand in marriage. Part of the Japanese culture is, that once children have their own separate lives and move into the city and away from home, they tend to detach from and disconnect with their aging parents. Hence, the woman thought that by wanting to meet the parents first, the man was being conservative. She thought it was unnecessary, because all he needed to do was to simply give her parents a call and to invite them to their wedding.

The man made the call anyway, introducing himself and requesting to meet the parents. The woman was surprised when she received a call from her parents later, telling her how they appreciate the man’s effort. They thought it showed respect.

At least that’s how I remember it.

When it comes to handling traditional ceremonies, many of us want it easy. A lot of us want to skip what we deem as unnecessary, even when they don’t cost a thing. Protocols scare the shit out of some of us. I’ve had my share of “Why do we have to do this?” / “This is excessive!” / “Can’t we make it as simple as possible?”

But after a while, I’ve come to realize that when effort is put into something – be it from the way we organize an event, the way we dress, or they way we choose to converse with the other party (i.e. formally) – the effort makes an event more meaningful and beautiful. Because I believe that it will be appreciated by everyone else. And most importantly, it shows respect.

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