It’s an Irony That Wealth Weakens Mind and Poverty Strengthens Mind


In a news program I was watching last night, there was a report on the rise in rice price in Thailand and the Philippines. Armed soldiers were selling government-controlled rice at half the market price. As soon as a military truck arrived, people made a long line. It took many hours for some people to get there. Many of them standing in line failed to buy the rice and were sent back as all the rice was sold out soon while they were waiting. Having the appearance of being about to burst into tears, a housewife who couldn’t buy it, asked by a Japanese TV reporter, said “I haven’t eaten rice for many days! I just wanna live like a human being ! We are humans just like you!”

  • armed 武装した
  • soldier 兵士
  • as soon as S+V SがVするとすぐに
  • military 軍用の
  • fail to~ 〜することができない
  • appearance 表情
  • be about to~ 今にも〜するところだ
  • burst into tears どっと泣き出す

I was shocked to see the sad face of the housewife who had a lot of children to feed, but I felt her strong life energy at the bottom of her face. In Japan, a lot of people commit suicide because of not doing well with personal relations with all income to buy as much rice as they want. Could the housewife understand the agony of such Japanese people? If she could change places, she would be happy to do it.

  • feed 養う
  • relation 人間関係
  • with all A Aがあるにも関わらず
  • income 収入
  • agony 苦悩
  • change places 立場を変える
  • be happy to~  喜んで〜する

It seems that as human beings satisfy their requirements taking them for granted, they become weak- hearted. In addition, once people have attained the state of materially rich, they are likely to have evil passions trying to keep their possessions and faces. Shakuson, for example, said “Throw away everything that causes evil passions(=desires)” and did abdicate the throne.

  • It seems that… …であるようだ
  • satisfy 満たす
  • requirements 必要
  • take A for granted Aを当たり前と思う
  • weak-hearted 心が弱い
  • in addition 加えて
  • once S+V 一旦SがVしたら
  • attain 成し遂げる
  • materially 物質的に
  • be likely to~ 〜しそうである
  • evil 邪悪な
  • passion 情熱
  • keep one’s face 面目を保つ
  • throw away A Aを捨てる
  • abdicate 捨てる
  • throne 王位

I feel that in the present age, human beings are allowed to have things that cause desires unless they forget gratitude for them, for to throw them away reluctantly will also cause bad karma to arise. What became of the family and country Shakuson abandoned?  The succession to the throne came to an end and his country was invaded after all. Many people were killed. In those days, Shakuson had no choice but to leave everything behind in order to become a priest and seek for the truth. If he were living in this present age, he would be leading a well-balanced life. I’m sure he would hold to a middle path.

  • the present age 現代
  • be allowed to~ 〜するのを許されている
  • unless S+V SがVしない限り
  • gratitude 感謝の気持ち
  • reluctantly いやいやな気持ちで
  • arise 生じる
  • What become of A? Aはどうなるのか?
  • abandon 捨てる
  • succession 継承
  • invade 侵略する
  • in those days 当時は
  • have no choice but to~ 〜するしかない
  • in order t0~ 〜するために
  • priest 僧
  • seek for A Aを探し求める
  • middle path 中道

As lives become comfortable, human beings tend to leak mental energy wastefully, which scrapes their life energy. If you were so poor that you can’t eat enough food, you couldn’t worry about things, struggling through the day and then you, paradoxically, would have a strong heart because you don’t waste your mental energy. It’s ironic, isn’t it? If you keep an attitude of gratitude to everything you do, it’s possible that you have both the richness and strength of your heart.

  • comfortable 快適な
  • leak 漏らす
  • wastefully 無駄に
  • scrape 削る
  • struggle 奮闘する
  • paradoxically 逆説的に
  • ironic 皮肉な
  • gratitude 感謝の気持ち

生かして頂いて ありがとう御座位ます

I Ka Shi Te I Ta Da I Te    A Ri Ga To U Go Za I Ma Su

Thank you so much for keeping us alive.