Right now i am preparing for my departure from Japan back to my homeland Dominica, in the middle of the Caribbean Sea but i just want to share one of the quotes that i had the privilege to understand and discuss with my fellow participants of the Course that i attended.
It comes from a noted Japanese renaissance Man : Miyazawa Kenji, he did and dabbled in every and anything and assisted the farmers of the Iwate Prefecture (Hanamaki City) to increase agricultural production (rice) while instilling in them a sense of pride and commitment.
His quote: “We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey” rings well with us because we could understand the genesis of it, the pain. Off course, all the participants of the course came from the Caribbean and most of our pain is rooted in the rememberance of slavery, slave revolts but we have somehow evolved into a very peaceful society with small bouts of violence though.
However i feel that the quote is asking us to embrace the pain, ensure that we remember it, not just for the sake of remembrance but that we also channel that pain to strive for greater good. I will always remember the lessons learnt here in Japan, a very humble, respectful and appreciative country.
Just wanted to share this quote.
Below is also a poem, "Not Losing In The Rain," (translated in English) of Kenji that also symbolizes what he stood for as an individual:
not losing to the rain
not losing to the wind
not losing to the snow or to the heat of the summer
with a strong body
unfettered by desire
never losing temper
cultivating a quiet joy
every day four bowls of brown rice
miso and some vegetables to eat
count yourself last and put others before you
watching and listening, and understanding
and never forgetting
in the shade of the woods of the pines of the fields
being in a little thatched hut
if there is a sick child to the east
going and nursing over them
if there is a tired mother to the west
going and shouldering her sheaf of rice
if there is someone near death to the south
going and saying there's no need to be afraid
if there is a quarrel or a suit to the north
telling them to leave off with such waste
when there's drought, shedding tears of sympathy
when the summer's cold, walk in concern and empathy
called a blockhead by everyone
without being praised
without being blamed
such a person
I want to become
The Great Words of the Humble Miyazawa Kenji