Stories of Compassion and Wisdom
Why wasn’t there any rioting or looting in Japan after the devastating earthquake and tsunami of 2011?
In Unshakable Spirit, a forthcoming collection of heartwarming stories in which you will discover the Japanese people’s underlying philosophy.
By Kentetsu Takamori
On March 11, 2011, an earthquake and tsunami of historic proportions struck off the northeast coast of Japan, wreaking extreme devastation. Our nation will emerge from this calamity with vigor, just as it did nearly seventy years ago when Japan rose from the ashes of war with indomitable spirit. In the meantime, the remarkable outpouring of goodwill from around the world has been a tremendous encouragement. As a Japanese, I would like to take this opportunity to express my own profound gratitude. But how can we best respond? Only by sharing Buddhism, the philosophy underlying the Japanese people’s unshakable spirit. That strong desire lies behind my decision to share these essays with the English-speaking world. From the text
Why Children Don’t Answer
Teaching by Example
A Japanese college professor once told this personal story.
“I have a five-year-old son. Until a few months ago, whenever anyone called his name he would answer “Hai!”
[“Yes”] in a loud voice. But then for some reason he stopped doing it. I gave it some thought and realized I was to blame.
I’d been so swamped with work that oft en when my wife called me I wouldn’t answer, but just go on working in silence.
My son must have seen me doing that and quit answering when spoken to. I tried various things to get him to respond, but nothing worked.
“Then it hit me. The most important thing is for me myself to answer clearly when I’m called.”
“And what do you know! Soon enough he began saying “hai” enthusiastically when we called his name. The atmosphere in our house really changed for the better.”
Many men who graduated from college years ago spend the rest of their lives toiling at their jobs, hard-pressed and
joyless. Why then, as fathers, do they rant about the need to do well in school? “Study hard and get into a good college,”
they say. “That’s all your mother and I ask. Do it for us! Study! Study! Study!”
It makes no sense to children.
“Why should I study hard to get into college and then study even harder to graduate, just so I can end up like my old man” they wonder. “He does nothing but work all the time. I can’t work any harder than him. Maybe I don’t have what it takes to keep on living.”
Too often, a child looks at his parents and loses hope.
Trembling with worries and anxiety, he may suffer a nervous breakdown or even take his own life.
True education is education by example.