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ARE EVILS IN SOCIETY THE RESULTS OF ENVIRONMENT?

 

There is an old saying in Japan, "Where there are sound assets, there is a sound mind." This means that when people have a sufficient supply of the necessities of life they are virtuous in word and deed, and there are quite a number of prominent people who attribute the present state of Japan, its evils, to the shortages of material. This is true in a way.

However, I don't think this is the basic reason for the evils in society. If it were the true cause, all wealthy people would be just and righteous. Unfortunately, this is far from the fact, for there are a large number of well-fed, well-clothed and well-housed individuals who commit wrong deeds. There are also some who have a far more harmful, corrupting influence on society than poor people have. For instance, through the power of their wealth some own a number of large properties and leave them unoccupied most of the time, though the shortage of housing is a serious problem in Japan today. There are other men who, with the power of money, make playthings of many women and are a bad influence because of their immoral ways of living. Still others use their money to take away the freedom of weak people living on the lowest strata. There are some who help to corrupt politicians for their own interests or to corrupt educators in order that their children may obtain admission to certain schools without adequate qualifications. Indeed, there is really no end to the list of their negative acts.

From the few facts I have just mentioned, I am sure it is clear that the cause of increased social evils does not lie only in the shortages of material. The real cause lies in the disbelief or lack of faith in God and in all spiritual things. Until this problem is solved, negative acts can never be eradicated. The only basic solution is the appearance of a religion powerful enough to accomplish this.

Now, I would like to point out a big mistake in the way of thinking of the intellectual people today. They have a tendency to put the blame of anything on others. This way of thinking, I believe, has come chiefly from the influence of Marxism. Marx's theory places the cause of man's misery entirely on the social system, on its bad framework. It is true that it is necessary to improve or reform the system and framework of society, but to say that is the only cause of man's misery is a great mistake. However ideal a system or organization may be in form, as long as the thinking and actions of the individuals comprising society are not right, it cannot work out smoothly; it will surely end in failure. The true solution to this can be reached only by the spiritual improvement of each person, for we should realize that individual human beings are more important than social structures.

Needless to say, this wrong way of thinking results from matenalistic ideas which do not recognize man's spirituality. People who believe in materialism try to solve every problem solely by materialistic thinking. Herein lies the big reason for the mistake. As a result of this, they tend to justify everything they say and do and put the blame on other individuals or things.

The fact is, however, that an individual draws to himself every problem he experiences. If people will only realize and accept this truth fully, they will naturally become humble and loving. As a result, a peaceful, harmonious society will become a reality. I believe this can be achieved only through true faith in God.

Within the concept of putting the blame on others or on circumstances, the ideology of socialistic revolution, lies the purpose of destroying a social system. Revolutionists strive to stir up the masses by attributing all problems to wrong social structures instead of to individual actions.

Man should realize the meaning of this, correct the past mistakes, and start anew.

 

May 25, 1949

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