Thinking About Nature and Us

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The stock market is still facing many ups and downs. The international community is not stable due to earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear power plant damages in Japan. Despite the uncertainties in the economy and society, our lives continue. There is a middle school in the block next to our home. As a part of the park that they call “Green Road,” there is a vacant land covered with grasses in the north side of the school. It looks like an idol land, but it used to look lovely and green, adding a breathing space in our neighborhood.

It was November last year when they started to build huge buildings on that vacant space. As construction went on, we found that they were constructing gymnasium buildings forming a part of the middle school. The buildings look stylish and elegant. However, I sometimes miss the sprawling green space that exist before they started to build these buildings.

This construction reminds me of an ancient Chinese myth. It is a story showing a naturalistic character of “Taoism.” In the North Sea, there was a kingdom ruled by legalism. Its king’s name was “Shuku.” In the South Sea, there was a kingdom ruled by emotionalism. Its king’s name was “Kotsu.” There was a kingdom in the Central Sea. Its king’s name was “Konton.” The three kings often met in Konton’s palace. King Konton did not have a fix body shape. He did not have eyes, ears, noses, and mouth. He looked like a cloud, which could not be touched.

Since Shuku and Kotsu had an excellent time in Konton’s palace, they decided to give Konton a gift. They decided to give Konton eyes, ears, nose and a mouth. Despite the expectation of Shuku and Kotsu after they finished making holes for Konton, Konton died.

Konton is a Japanese words meaning ‘Chaos’. According to the Japanese myth, Konton controls nature. Shuku means ‘people who emphasize order’. Katsu means ‘people who advocate the importance of human emotion’. Based on good will or human wisdom, if human beings change nature too much, it will nature to be destroyed. This myth teaches us it may not be smart to change nature too much. If we destroy nature, it destroys us directly or indirectly.

I personally believe building a new facility and buildings is a good change for the school, students and our neighbors. However, as you see what is happening with the Japanese nuclear power plant, human beings would never be able to predict what happens after they make a change. I hope this new development of our neighborhood middle school will not cause any destruction of nature, giving an adverse affect to our neighbors.

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