For this Christmas, we have the huge privilege of having Mana Ogawa with us! This feature is part of our Truth Series. Enjoy!~
Wan Wei: Hello Mana! Can you tell us more about yourself and what you are doing?
Mana Ogawa: Hi Wan Wei. Thank you very much for having me today.
I am originally from Japan and am currently based in Singapore. Currently, I work for a research company as a project manager.
Outside of work, I do mainly two things: One is running a community “Girls Bee“. Girls Bee is a community for any woman who wants to live as she wishes. We provide opportunities such as events and projects to encourage them to think, learn and take action to what they want to become.
I also conduct talks at universities or public events in Japan as “Mana Ogawa”– about my life and how I take steps to become what I wanted to become. Also, I contribute articles to online media platforms– I recently became a official columnist at Forbes JAPAN.
Wan Wei: How would you define “the truth”? Is there a truth, or is everything subjective? How do you tell?
Mana Ogawa: I think “the truth” is exactly what we see and what we believe. From that point, I personally think “the truth” can be very subjective.
Take for instance, two people at the exact same place and time, who experience the exact same incident.
But I think they must have different experience and feelings towards the incident. Because they have different personalities, backgrounds and point of views. If they have experienced differently, it doesn’t mean that they are (or one of them is ) telling a lie.
Both experience and feeling is true for each of them. This is the reason why I said the “truth” can be very subjective.
WW: What are the three ways you can tell the truth to someone without being offensive?
- Be open to listen to their story (from their perspectives)
- Showing a respectful attitude
- Then I tell my honest feelings with polite manners. The key is to try not to focus on what is right or not.
I think everyone their stories to be heard, and everyone thinks “I am right!”
So showing openness and respect is very important for us whenever we need to talk or discuss something serious.
Being offensive doesn’t solve anything. So what I or we can do is to show an open and respectful attitude, and then try to tell our opinions or feelings honestly without focusing on what is right or not.
I believe these steps lead to constructive conversations.
WW: What is the one tip you would give to a person to test if the version of his/her story is grounded in reality?
Mana Ogawa: I feel that it is simply to check with themselves if they are telling their stories with peaceful and calm minds.
If we try to tell a lie or exaggerate reality, our minds are usually in an excited or upsetting state.
If our minds are calm, we can naturally tell our stories in a grounded manner.
WW: On a parting note, can you give us a painless tip to check if a person is not lying to himself/herself?
Mana Ogawa: I believe if I am always honest and trying to be true to self for everything, I can tell when any person is lying to himself/ herself.
It’s a little bit difficult to describe in words, but when I am true to myself for everything, I can feel what is true and what is not.
So I think the important thing is to be true to ourselves in everything we do and to be aware of our thoughts and sense of feelings:)
Photographs courtesy of Mana Ogawa. Feel free to follow Girls Bee on Facebook here!