Tuesday, June 19, 2012

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


Song:  Simple Man

Group:  Lynyrd Synyrd



As the second of two articles on being country...
I now go to my wife (just a touch...as she is very private)...
and then on to her Father.

My wife is from the smallest of the four main islands of Japan.

She is from a small fishing village on the coast...
and she was raised throughly enjoying the mountains, rivers, and ocean.

She is very maternal and an excellent mother.
She is the main reason our son, Alex, has come so far in life.
She enjoys the simple things in life.
She is country.


My wife's parents, whom I had met twice...
once in 1995 when I visited them at their home...
and once in 2001 when they had visited our home in CA...
live a simple, yet, happy life.


Her father's story tells of his drive, intelligence, and honor.

My wife told me of what her father had told of these times...
as relayed to her when she was young.


As a young child...
my father in law...
the eldest of 9 siblings...
and still young when the Japanese were going through times
of great deprivation during WWII...
had to drop out of school while still in elementary school...
in order to take care of, and help feed, his siblings.

This was a time of a great lack of food and other necessities for the Japanese populace.

My father in law, during these times, had to take his siblings into the nearby 
mountains to scrounge for food...by digging for roots and other sustenance.

He helped his brothers and sisters until they could care for themselves...
and he then took a job on a ship as a cook's assistant.

In Japanese society, in general...
there is a rather rigid hierarchy...
especially back then...
and especially on a ship.

Well, lets just say that there was some rather rude behavior that her 
father had to endure in order to have that job.

My wife had relayed that often times...
he had been scolded by his shipmates...
and had food thrown into his face when they blamed him 
that something wasn't made correctly.

He hadn't given up...
he instead internalized his anger and turned it into drive.

He studied on his own after his shifts...
and on his first try...
he passed the National Engineer's Exam.

My wife says that this test is as prestigious and difficult as someone 
taking a law bar exam.

Remember, he hadn't gone to school for it...
he studied on his own...
after his long shifts.

He went on to be the Chief Engineer on an Inter-Island Ferry...
and has since retired and has enjoyed fishing everyday on his 35 ft.
fishing boat (his passion).

--------

When I was in the Army in the field
(I was but 17 yrs. old)...
with large heavy rucksacks on our backs...
going up and down mountains...
in heavy rain...in hot sun...
for days on end...
what I had observed...
consistently...
was the ones who rarely complained...
the ones who smiled at the rain or the fatigue...
the ones who just kept going...
never giving up...
were the country boys
(boys not being a derogatory term...they call themselves that).

They were among the toughest...
and yet, the nicest group of guys you could ever meet.

They had a natural sense of happiness...
a simple, yet, almost unshakable optimism about them.

And almost to a fault...
they were very simple men.

They would get much of their joy in life...internally.

They were raised with strong morals...
a simple, yet, very rich lifestyle...
where a beautiful sunset was a great reward for a hard day's work...
and something they cherished.

Deferred Gratification wasn't something they learned in a book...
it is simply a way of life.

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

In a word...to me...being country boils down to...

Simplicity.


It is through simplicity that prioritization in life reveals itself.


Being country is having a long term goal...
and working steadily toward it...
with pleasure.

It is to have a deep passion about living life...
about experiencing everything in it to the fullest degree...
instead of running away from it through the various hedonistic lifestyles
(anything which sacrifices the long term for the short term).


Their life is about family...
self-respect...and respect to others...
of honor...honoring their word...their responsibilities...
of the realization of the natural beauty that exists all around them...
the great internal rewards in life from the sunrises and sunsets...
to the sincere happiness felt, and shared, among friends and family.

Being country is knowing the difference between right and wrong...
and choosing to do that which is right...regardless of what "the world" thinks.

Being country is to regard life as sacrosanct...
so much so, that you are willing to possibly lose yours
in the defense of others... in the name of good and right.

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

Ok...
enough said.

Now some common threads among the short biographies.




Simplicity

None of the depicted people were complex individuals.

Simplicity in life allowed them the freedom to enjoy it.

Complexity robs people of time and of the solitude to enjoy things internally.

They got many of their rewards in life internally.

They had no need of drugs (including alcohol) to enjoy life.




 Deferred Gratification

To have risen in their fields...
despite their difficult starts and conditions...
they had to have long term goals...
they had to think long term...
and had to not have given in to the short term temptations...
especially any of the excuses many give in to...
to escape the effort necessary to succeed... by giving up.



Conceptual Understanding


To have been able to self educate...
is to have understood the meaning of concepts.


To be on the right path in life...
to consistently understand true meanings...
to be able to choose correct paths...
is to have conceptual understanding about life.

To be able to prioritize your journey toward your goals...
to be able to work steadily toward them with the faith of the truly pious...
to understand the meaning of being on a Positive Spiral...
is to have correctly prioritized your life.


These all demonstrate a way of thinking...
from general to specific.

With an accurate picture of the whole...
an accurate assessment of where you are...
the necessary objectives to accomplish...
the correct path to tread becomes self apparent.




Strength and Pureness of Body, Heart, and Mind


To have endured long and draining hours of work...
and to then study to further yourself...
is strength of character and of body.

To have the pureness of heart and mind to
know what is right and to treat people accordingly...
from how one takes care of one's family...
to how one treats others...
demonstrates the conviction of morals...
to know that it applies to ALL.


When a person lives by simple rules of right and wrong...
there is no need to spend endless hours conniving, scheming...
lying and cheating...wasting more time and effort than what it would 
have taken doing it correctly from the beginning.


His mind is free from false interpersonal entrapments.

 Complex social webs cannot ensnare him...
he is free from mere social obligations because others dictate them so...
only what is truly an earned obligation from his family...
and to those truly deserving...those of whom are truly good.


Being country is, again...
simply knowing what is right...
and living your life by it.


A way to teach a child this is through basic philosophy...
of the basic morals of right and wrong...
the reasoning behind it (critical reasoning)...
and the daily practice of directed deferred gratification...
through daily exercise and study...
in pursuit of a defined goal.

Expose them to the great natural beauty all around us.

In these...
a child will develop a great appreciation...
and love of the internal rewards received as his passion for life
steadily increases.

For those of whom live in a city...
yet agree with what I had written here...
then I must submit...
that you too...
are country.







2 comments:

  1. Shiroi, thank you for sharing the inspiring backgrounds of your father and father-in-law. Now, I understand where you, your wife, and Alex get your fortitude from.

    My dad sounds a lot like the country boys you met in the Army. Like you describe them, he was/is as tough as they come, was raised with strong morals, and lives a simple life. I think there is something to be said about country values, and though I am not nearly as country to the core as my parents, I hope to pass along their values to my son.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It is the values of the country that I understand. I am sometimes at a loss when it comes to accepted (but backward in my mind) city social standards and customs. I loathe insincerity...especially phony smiles (smiling or laughing without the eyes), butterfly hugs, and especially the social lies.

    There is so much value in country values. You know the old saying...America doesn't need more people in the country...it needs more country in the people.

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