The king of beasts
Kawaraban No. 1
by Kenji Shimizu
Whatever might be most important thing in human life, health comes first. But don’t the humans treat their own bodies way too stepmotherly? We got the body from our parents as a present for free. Therefore maybe, we do not feel its value, as we did not invest anything in it.
The human head and body have been created in a mysterious and marvelous way, and it is said, that experience and knowledge of approximately one million years have been embedded in our genes.
In addition, there are more than a billion brain cells, and it is said, that even computers cannot equal their capabilities.
And we neglect such a marvelous body and treat it unreasonably. For example, we carefully look after a car worth 2-3 million yen, but our own body, that is more important than anything else and cannot be produced even with a billion yen, we treat stepmotherly.
Maybe our carelessness is based on the fact that generally a body is working faultlessly for about 50 years. Under careful treatment a body might be able to work properly for about 100 years, but I do think, that we shorten the natural life span arbitrarily. We succumb to sweet „temptations“, moreover we destroy our bodies by stress, that is pressing down on us, work too much, drink excessively, have an unbalanced diet, lack sleep, and so on.
For about 12 years I travel to Europe, mainly to West Germany, to teach, and I am especially interested in observing the German way of living. It might sound a little exaggerated, but concerning the health of body and mind each individual struggles on its own accord with the question „How to achieve that the mind controls the body?“, and seems to deal with this problem deep within itself.
Aren’t we Japanese lacking too much of consciousness for health of body and mind? Shouldn’t we gradually stop using our being busy as an excuse, and develop from a „monkey“ towards a „lion“?
We shouldn’t behave like monkeys, who already put the food into their mouth when they are still peeling tangerines or peanuts busily and don’t get down quietly. Instead we should behave like lions, the kings of beasts, who finish up their food, rest thereafter and rebuild.
© translated by Birgit Lauenstein and Peter Nawrot 01/2003