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Konosuke Matsushita on Human Development
7. Educating People
For better or worse, life is full of problems.
The road we travel on is never smooth.
No one is completely free of problems.
The question is how we deal with those problems.
We have to rely on something to lift ourselves up, whether it is religion or a code of ethics.
If we donít have something to rely on, the going will be difficult indeed.
Following the end of World War II, the government in Japan decided to promote education.
They built schools everywhere, even in the remotest mountain villages where there were only a handful of children.
Thatís how education became so widespread in postwar Japan.
Today, education is so universal that there is hardly a single illiterate Japanese, even among the poorest of us.
You might think this is really a great situation, but itís not.
Although education has become universal, we have failed to promote humanity.
That is why we are confronted by so much violence in our elementary schools and junior high schools.
Neither the government nor the general public knows what to do.
We have seen advances made in science and technology, and have advanced culturally.
Thatís all for the good, but at the same time we have left consideration of humanity behind.
This makes for a very difficult situation.
With cultural advancement and universal education everything should be wonderful. But itís not that simple.
Sometimes societies actually deteriorate.
There are countries like that.
This is due to the complexities of human nature.
It is said that humans are the lords of creation...the kings of the earth.
But being a king is not simply having extensive privileges.
It also implies responsibilities.
Many people are kings without being aware of what it means to be a king, and are busy showing us the ugly side of humankind.
But is this taught in the educational systems of todayís so-called civilized nations? No, itís not.
Itís not taught at all.
Moral education is forgotten.
There is physical education and intellectual education, and thatís all.
Sports are especially popular.
But there is no moral education, no education on what it means to be a human being. We need to teach humanity - educate the whole human being.
Increased productivity will also be a natural consequence of enhancing peopleís humanity.
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