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Kaleidoscope of the Heart: Everyone deserves an equal chance to do their best

Rika Kayama

Top teams took part in the Nippon Professional Baseball amateur draft on Oct. 25 to win the negotiating rights with sought-after prospects, most of who will graduate from high school or university next spring.

Most of the favored players developed their talents thanks to the help of their parents, coaches and teammates. The majority of the players expressed their appreciation to their coaches and parents during the press conference, which I thought was wonderful.

The beaming smiles of the young men who had just realized their dreams made me think of the boys and girls I met at my clinic. Some never received affection from their parents or were abused by them, while others were subject to severe bullying at school. There was one who even claimed, "I don't trust adults."

At the same time, other teenagers are fulfilling their dreams and being cared for by those around them. It almost made be believe that the world is not fair.

Some of these neglected young people are striving to get a job in social welfare. They had a miserable childhood and "want to help kids in the same situation." Some others have created a family with a kind person and are trying their best to raise their children because they want them to be happy.

While we need support from those around us we also have to be able to pave our own way in life. A young doctor I know once told me in secret, "A bunch of students around me were blessed with parents who were also doctors, but I studied hard on a scholarship in a single-parent household." There's no such thing as "not being able to fulfill your dreams unless you receive the full support of your parents and other people."

Furthermore, I hope that those lucky enough to have had loving parents and were cherished by adults around them so they could achieve their goals can offer support to young people who are trying to achieve their dreams on their own. There are probably many children out there who want to study, play sports or music or dance even though their family can't afford such activities and there's no one to offer assistance.

I want to reassure them by saying, "It's alright, everyone's on your side." I want to ensure that those children can somehow manage to do their best at what they want to do, and if they have the talent can develop their skills.

On the night of the baseball draft, young talented men who grew up in a good environment took a major step toward becoming professional players. As I applauded those young athletes it made me wish that "everyone could have an equal chance to do their best."

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)

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