The other day, I watched some news program on TV. There a lot of schoolchildren were interviewed by a reporter. They were asked what they thought they were doing in the future. To my disappointment, most of them gave the same answer: an office worker. There was little difference in their responses. I don't mean to say that an office worker is not as worthwhile as, for example, a scientist. But I do want to say that one's attitude toward his or her life is what matters. The children didn't look so happy as they said, "An office worker." I felt they have given up other possibilities. Since I believe a child's face should be shining with hope, it seemed strange to me that the children didn't even show a smile.

   What do you think made the children go like that? I think adults around them did. You know, a child is a good mirror of his parents. So if grown-ups lose passion for their work, children, seeing them, will also lose passion for life in the future. Therefore, adults are responsible for this.

   But why do people fail to put their heart into their work? These days, the world is getting too complicated to know what's going on in it and where to find themselves. That is, people have lost their way, that's why they have lost their passion.

   Now that we have traced the cause to its root, we must answer the question: what should they do for children's sake? Yes, all they have to do is to find again where to live, in other words, to lead a life worth living.

   They would surely say however, "But how? I tried to do it many times only to fail. To me, the world appears to be made of stone and steel." I suppose they have attempted to change everything but themselves. They should have realized that to find their way is not a matter of others, but of themselves. Because, as the saying goes, "Where there is a will, there is a way," however complex the world may be.

   And these precious words remind me of a story about three bricklayers:

One day, when a young man was taking a walk, he saw three bricklayers working and asked them what they were doing. One said, "I'm laying bricks." "I'm working for payment," said another. And then the other said, "I'm building the world's best church."

   What a difference in their attitudes to the same work. It is clear which man takes pride in what he's doing. This story tells us even a common job might have a new significance. It's all up to one's will.

   So, people reading this, instead of being sad over our lot, let's do our best to make most of what we have. And we should be proud of that. Then, by our example, the children will come to believe in life, and retain their childlike behavior. Concluding this essay, I'd like to say, not only BOYS, but PEOPLE, BE AMBITIOUS!


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Words of Wisdom OK312: 「英⇔日」対照・名言ことわざ辞典

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