I’m here in Japan on a delayed family holiday.

And so much about Japan is impressive. But for me, one thing stands out: gratitude.

Imagine, for example, arriving at the airport and getting a bus to your in-laws’ town. The bus company people all wear white gloves as they load your luggage on board. Then, as the driver takes his seat and starts the engine, all those people who’ve helped people load their luggage line up and as one, they bow deeply as the bus pulls away.

Or imagine being at what the Japanese call a Ropeway — essentially a cable car transporting you to higher ground — in this case to get a fantastic view of Mount Fuji. And then as your car leaves the lower station (or indeed the higher one), there’s a very slow and very deep bow from the ticket attendant to all of the passengers.

Or even driving along the highway and encountering roadworks. And you see this sign:


Here’s what it says:


Please forgive us for the inconvenienced caused during the construction work. We seek your kind cooperation.

And even better, as you leave the roadworks there’s a supervisor bowing to you too.

You might think “it’s too much”.

I think, ‘what if the whole world did this’. What if we actually took time to positively acknowledge others in every transaction?

What if we realised each and every day that it’s these small things that are just so powerful. The Power of Small really is amazing.