The 'Key' to a Better World
In Japan now, as in most other advanced nations
around the world, much time, energy and money is being spent in the
search for solutions to environmental problems. At every level of
society - private, corporate, and public, people are trying to find
ways to reduce the negative impact of our activities on the earth.
Housewives are using cleaner detergents and no
longer throwing away used cooking oil, companies are reducing
unnecessary packaging and designing new products that can be recycled
easily, and local governments are seeking better methods of waste
disposal. We are truly in the middle of a 'boom' in 'green' concerns,
and yes, all these activities are indeed having a good effect on our
But as important as all such initiatives are, if
something else vitally important is neglected, all this work will be
wasted ... all this progress will be for nothing ... and just a few
short years from now, we will find ourselves right back at the
beginning of the long struggle to reach an understanding of how to
live properly on this earth.
What is this vitally important thing that must not
be overlooked? Simply, it is our children. If we fail to teach our
children how to live properly in balance with nature, then all our
other activities will be completely wasted. What good is it for the
housewife to carefully recycle her used cooking oil if, one day in
the future, her granddaughter thinks, "Hey, that's too troublesome, I
can just dump this down the sink."? What good is it for a corporation
to devise recyclable packaging if, one day in the future, a new young
manager thinks, "Hmmm, I think I can see a good way to save money on
these expensive special boxes."?
It is no good creating environmentally friendly
ways of living now, if such attitudes are only going to be temporary.
The single most important job facing us at the moment, is to bring up
our children in such a way that they will never fall back into the
'old' ways of living. To bring them up to understand that they are
just one part of the incredibly complicated and intertwined family of
living things on this earth. To bring up the next generation of
housewives, business managers and leaders to be true citizens of the
earth ... to be people who would simply never think of acting in
environmentally destructive ways.
Our children now - the citizens of tomorrow. There
is nothing we can do, absolutely nothing, that is more important than
ensuring that they grow up with knowledge of how to live in harmony
You ask what you can do to help save the earth ...
The answer is right there in your own home. Right there in your own
child's way of thinking. There in your own family you hold the 'key'
to a better world ...
Please ... don't neglect this crucial
responsibility. Put your children on the proper path.
(... for the Daily Yomiuri ... "What you are doing
to help save the earth")