When I was in primary school, I became fond of cleaning activities. In Japan, school children used to take turns in cleaning different parts of the school after classes every day, and I discovered that my favourite was to clean the bathrooms. Bathroom cleaning was the least favourite of everybody else, but I found it most rewarding because I saw that the way the bathroom transformed from dirty to spotless clean really made impact on the people who used the bathroom. I used to love seeing people walk into the clean bathroom with a big wow on their faces.
One summer, I was visiting my maternal grandmother’s house as always, and noticed that their bathrooms were not spotless clean. They were cleaned regularly, but when I looked carefully, I could see dust on the shelves and dark spots on the wall. I was immediately inspired to work my magic on their bathrooms. I cleared all the empty items from the shelves and started scrubbing each dirty spot with a toilet cleaner.
I spent a few hours completely absorbed in my task scrubbing and scrubbing every single dark spot on the wall and on the toilet. Sometimes, a family member would pass by and see what I was doing, but nobody really commented anything except my grandmother.
Once she passed by and saw me crouching on the toilet eagerly scrubbing the toilet ball. I was so into my task that when she asked me what I was doing, I didn’t stop my hand and just told her that I was cleaning the bathroom. She looked somehow impressed, but left without words after sometime.
When the bathrooms were spotless clean, I showed them to all the family members in the house. Sure enough, I saw a big wow on each person’s face. I was satisfied.
Shortly after, my grandmother came to me with a serious face. For a split second, I wondered if I had done anything wrong. She walked straight up to me and handed me something. It was a money bag.
“Not everybody can clean bathrooms in somebody else’s house.”
She said without breaking her serious face.
And then she left. I only cleaned the bathrooms as part of my hobby. It felt strange that I would receive money for what I had done out of fun, but my grandmother’s serious face made me feel appreciated and acknowledged for my spontaneous action. I stood there for a moment, staring at the money bag my grandmother had left in my hand with a sense of wonder in my heart.