Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Quote of the Week: Miyazawa Kenji

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

in everything

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


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