Life is life…..? Sensitive matter, another case

One murder makes a villain. Millions a hero. Numbers sanctify. – Charlie Chaplin

In last couple of weeks, we had no single day when we did not hear shocking news. One is about a U.S. journalist beheaded by Islamic State in Syria, another is the conflict between Israel and Hamas. According to some sources, more than 2,000 people have been killed in Gaza in last couple of months. OK, now, let’s do the math. Suppose every human being’s life is equally respected. Then, the killing in Gaza is more than 2,000 times seriously treated than killing a U.S. citizen in Syria. Is it? Obviously no. Why? WHy?? WHY???

I even don’t know the difference, or in another word the “border”, between murder and assassination.

I know. This is a sensitive matter, like the one I described in an old post.

There seem no rationally rational argument. Everything is subjective and relative. For a typical but different example, many people, mostly the Westerners, think that a whale or a dolphin’s life is way heavier than that of a “cow” (whether it is male or female), of a pig, or of a chicken. It is obvious for them, but ridiculous for me. It is subjective.

I even hope that we are in transition right now. I still remember a weird feeling I had in my childhood when I watched TV news reporting a tragedy, such as train crash or airplane accident, in which many people ware killed. Reporters typically said “被害者に政治家などの要人は含まれておりません (no important figures such as politicians are included in the casualties)”. WHAT? What the hell do you mean by “important figures”??? Now they don’t make such a biased report; people have changed.

Another unforgettable comment in my childhood was heard in a social studies class in my junior high-school. The teacher was talking about the changes in social structures and political systems, and if I remember correctly, he said like “political systems in the world had changed for the better. But now there are two different major systems and we cannot tell which is better: capitalism and socialism. Both are better than old ones and seem optimal.” Some years later, many socialistic nations have turned into capitalistic ones. Is it a change for the better? If I trust the first half of the teacher’s argument, it is. People have changed.

If people keep changing, the notion of the “equality of life” may change. I mean, it will change “for the better”. Some may argue that it “should change”.

OK, this is it for sensitive matters.

August 22, 2014Permalink

Memory, another case

I have written 140 posts so far. Among the 140 different stories, one thing that I have not mentioned is, something romantic. I am not, of course, going to talk about my love story here. Ha! I often write about memories, like Memory of Mess, Memories of chestnuts, Seasonal food, scenery and food, and so on. In those short essays, I write what evokes certain memories or feelings, or what recalls past events or habits. I am sure that, for many people, some love songs remind them of their romantic, or for some people like me, sorrow memories and feelings.

I like to listen to Japanese songs on YouTube. I even have a private playlist of J-Pop (Japanese pop). Some of the songs on the playlist are new (“newest” ones are around three years ago before coming to Canada this time), and some others are old, like 80’s music or even older. A few days ago, I suddenly remembered a Japanese love song that was popular almost 10 years ago, and added it to the playlist. As I wrote in an old post, I came to Canada in 2003, and I listened to the song when I temporarily went back to Japan and spent a few months during the summer in 2005. That 9-year-old song still evokes a romantically sorrow feeling I had for a girl. Sadly and as usual, I was a friend of hers. Though it was one-way, I’m sure I sincerely thought of her as the love song recalls. Sad and good memories.

Now I’m in one-way love with my dream job… As I wrote in a “recent” post (I know this is like monthly blog now… I wrote it more than a month ago), something was wrong. As I mentioned in that post, the current discouraging situation (yes, it is still “current” as I wrote in the previous post) may be one of some steps forward, in other words, a meaningful step in the long term. Thinking of this idea actually made me feel better, but this is only one way to interpret the current situation. Recently I finished reading my most favourite book. I don’t remember how many times I have read the book. Anyways. In that book, the author talks about a person who had been depressed and then recovered through a remarkable experience in a day. He finds that life is not about fame or reputation but how people contribute for others. I agree with him. The main cause of my “negative” interpretation of the current situation is, as I mentioned in the previous post, that what I am doing now is not what I “planned” to do, or from a different perspective, it is not what people who know me well anticipated I would do. It’s not about “fame”, but can I re-think of it, that is, how I contribute for other people by doing it, though it is not what I “planned” to do? It is tough to accept this idea, I know, but it should make me feel even better. Now I need some more time to accept it.

Of course I don’t mean to cheat on my dream job. Let’s think in this way; though it is one way, I sincerely think of it, like I did for the girl 9 years ago. Or even nicer way to make myself better is to look for opportunities to contribute for others with my design skills even though it is not a “job”, right?

August 20, 2014Permalink

RIP Robin Williams

Many people in the world must have started this week with shocking news; Robin Williams passed away. He was one of my most favourite Hollywood actors.

As I wrote in an old post quite a while ago, Patch Adams, starring Robin Williams, is one of my favourite movies. See the old post for a very brief description of the movie (ironically, according to the news, he had suffered from depression before committing suicide). I am, again (or “still” in a sense), in a discouraging situation; I do something I did not hope to do when I planned to come to Canada. Now I should remember the feeling: the feeling of being encouraged by encouraging others, recalling what Robin Williams showed in the movie.

One good thing in this discouraging situation is that I have chances now to help and encourage others by talking about my experience. My Japanese friends work for an agency to support Japanese who come to Canada to learn English. One of the services they provide to those students is to pick them up at an airport and give them a ride to their host family, and I help them with my car. On the ride, I often talk about my experiences: how I have learned English, what living in a foreign country (i.e., Canada) is like, etc., which some of them find helpful. And I find helping and influencing other people with my experience encourages myself, just like Adams finds healing others heals himself.

R.I.P. Robin Williams, thank you for showing the courage to encourage others.

August 12, 2014Permalink