Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Strength + Pureness Of Body, Heart, and Mind = Country - 1 of 2


Song:  Wanted - Dead Or Alive

Artist::   Jon Bon Jovi



Before I begin...a disclaimer:

I was raised in the suburbs...
in a comfortable setting.

We were never without needs...
and we had very few wants unfulfilled.


So Shiroi...
you are to tell others what it is to be country?

First of all...
you needn't have been raised in the country to be country.

There are many city folks who are country...
and some country folks who are not country.

It is not about what you wear on the outside...
but about what you wear on the inside.

I am...
country.


In this article I will go into what it is to be country...
and the value of teaching these values to your children.


I will begin with my Mother's and Father's forefathers...
as this sets the stage for how I was raised...
and how I raise my son...
Alex.


My Father's paternal lineage extends to Germany.
They were Jewish and had come to America to escape anti-semitism.

They had the forethought, the drive, and most importantly...
the means to leave... before it got bad there.

They settled in Tulsa, Oklahoma where my Father was born and raised.
My Father had spent much of his youth being raised by his grandmother on her farm.

My father's family was poor and although my father had dropped out of school
after Elementary school...he loved to read...and, so, had become self educated.

At 16, my father had enlisted in the Navy (lied about his age) during WWII
in the just beginning Electronics field because of his entry test scores
(it was after the war that my father had met my mother in Japan).

It was in the service that my father had pursued his education. 
 Through self discipline and by taking advantage of the military schools...
he had gotten his High School education...and beyond. 

After my father married my mother...
he switched to the Air Force (back then, you could do so relatively easily)...
and continued learning.

After he retired...
he went to work for Lockheed (1960s) in, the yet to be developed, Silicon Valley.  

 He studied about his field and got higher and higher qualified. 
 He would later go to University, taking night courses, and get his degree.


He went on to work at the Ames Research Center (Blue Cube).


He later went to work for some high tech companies in Silicon Valley...
and then worked at various other places until he decided to retire at the age of 72.

What I remember about my father was his large amount of 
good ole' country common sense.

He would frequently teach me through the Socratic Method...
and through Inferential Learning, whenever we would go on outings
(it was just a common way of teaching...by probing and guiding the thought
process in the framework of the scientific method...I think it was a common way 
of teaching from father to child back then).

When I was young...
I never realized the amount of work my father was doing...
without complaint...in order that his family could live comfortably
(of course, children rarely do...until they must work to provide for a family).

My parents didn't spend frivolously on themselves.
We children had come first in their minds.
They took care of their family.

Ok...
so what does this show?

This is the story of so many...
I realize.

Through the other short biographies of some of my relatives...
and of my wife's father's story...
I will show that through the weave of their stories...
some common threads exist...
the true essence of what it is to be country.

---------------

As I have already told much of my mother in other articles...
I now go to her Father...whom I had seen for the last time... over a decade ago.

I went back to Japan in 1995 to see my wife's family...
and to see my relatives.

When I met him...
he was a man of the type I have always admired.

He walked with such dignity and with a quiet aura of intelligence and self respect.
  He was soft spoken but had the deep eyes of wisdom.

It is his story...
as had been told to us by our mother when my sisters and I were young...
that tells much about the character of the man.

It was the 1930s and Japan had invaded China and was occupying it.
Japan had a foothold in Manchuria and my grandfather had control of a province there. 

As he was of sufficiently high rank...
he was allowed to have his wife and family there...
during the occupation.

My mother, although she is 100% Japanese...
was actually born in Manchuria, China.

My mother was a very fussy child...
and so they had sent her back to Japan to live
with her Grandmother (luckily for me)...
soon afterward...China fell (the Japanese lost control).

My grandfather was captured by the Russians...
my grandmother, along with my mother's two sisters and brother...
had to escape by night freight train and by foot...
back through China...through Korea...and finally by boat to Japan.

Due to the harsh conditions...
my mother's sisters died along the way.

It was what had happened to my grandfather that told of 
the true character of the man.

You hear of the great atrocities that the Japanese had perpetrated 
on the Chinese civilians...well, my grandfather was NOT one of them.

It had turned out that because he had treated the populace with 
fairness, dignity and respect...that the Chinese people had spoken up for him...
and shortly afterward...he was released unharmed and sent back to Japan.

He was scheduled to be taken to Siberia...
from where he would not have returned.

He had lived a life of honor...
as is so telling in his actions with people's fates under his control.

So how is this country?

Hold on...more stories are coming to help illustrate
the true meaning of being country...
and how to teach this same way of life to your children.


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