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You Are Meant To Be Here

Have you ever encountered a story, maybe from a friend, or even a stranger, that utterly changed how you see the world? A story so powerful, it reshaped your entire life? 

For me, it was a teacher in the midst of my lowest point, sat next to me in the hospital as I faced the end of my dreams to become a professional volleyball player for back injury. He invited me to prepare for the national college exam at his school, placing me among the brightest minds, in a dorm filled with potential and promise.

Yet, as the summer waned, I found myself adrift, unable to envision a future worth chasing, leading me to quit. Apologizing to my teacher, I felt the weight of disappointment.

However, his response wasn't one of dismay but a pivotal question that would forever alter my trajectory: 'Manabu, what are you looking for? If it's not here in Japan, go to America. Remember, always move forward.' And so, here I am. Not only did I move to America, but I also made it to Harvard years later.

On the first day of school, the leadership professor said to the aspiring audience of newly admitted students, "You are meant to be here." I was so moved by that.

On the way home, at the footbridge over the Charles River, I found the same words.

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