The Lecture

Jun 16, 2021Blog, Inspiration, Perseverance

The Lecture

One has been a guest lecturer for students studying to join the Japanese automotive industry.

Over the decades of lecturing, the landscape of the Japanese student and their attitudes has changed in a significant manner.

With the first wave of students from the early 1990’s into the 2000s, one really felt a deep affinity and a kind of camaraderie in the classroom with these young people.

Camaraderie with Japanese and Canadians

As time marched on things gradually changed.

Perhaps due to the collapse of economic bubble in the early 90s, which lead to a societal decline, and, as a by-product, produced a lost generation of Japanese.

The gradual fraying of the “lifetime employment” system.

The proliferation of “convenient” processed foods poisoning the body, mind, and soul of the Japanese.

コンビニジャンクフード

A break down in the family structure leading to a significant increase in the divorce rate, thus many more children from broken homes.

A sense of hopelessness and lack of purpose now prevalent throughout large swaths of society.

The Mickey Mousesification of Japan.

Then came the next wave of students.

These are the children of this lost generation.

Japanese poverty

Often in the Japanese culture, parents place the onus of discipline on the teachers.

However, when observing poor chopstick manners, one always regards this as a reflection of the household where they were raised.

Hold Chopsticks Correctly Please

Therefore, one can not totally blame these children for poor manners and disrespect towards people in authority, perceived or otherwise.

This being so, keep in mind, all adults are solely responsible for their own attitude and behaviour.

Two snotty little brats received a growing opportunity to help them along into adulthood just the other day.

Very rarely are people asked to remove themselves from the classroom, this was a rare day.

退室前に一礼

Wanting to send these troubled children on their way fully edified, the entire class of twenty-eight pupils served as the captive audience for the “lecture.”

First, they were asked if they were aware of the present problems concerning the South China Sea.

Silence.

Then, asked if they knew where petroleum products come from.

There was some kind of murmurings: “Doesn’t oil come from the Middle East???“

Oil development in the Middle East Institution of Civil ... Oil development in the Middle East

Progress!

Now, how does the oil, which is the lifeblood of civilization, especially the automotive industry, come to Japan.

That’s right!

Oil tankers.

Oil Tankers Fuel Japan

The next question was more of a statement.

Ever wonder about the shipping route from the Middle East to Japan?

Correct, through the South China Sea.

Middel East To Japan Via South China Sea

Has anyone here ever wondered what would happen if this oil stopped coming to Japan?

Of course not.

The clear answer is you will no longer have a job, or indeed a bright future whatsoever, especially with a poor attitude and obnoxious behaviour.

Gas station runs out of gas during oil embargo - The ... Gas station runs out of gas during oil embargo

The “lecture” was concluded by letting them know (with a heart full of love and empathy) that someone of my amicable disposition is most likely to be the easiest interaction they will ever have in their sheltered lives.

Best wishes to all who have a desire to make a meaningful life with purpose, whether as a Mercedes Benz mechanic, or a diligent proprietor of a successful automobile dealership.

Bonus:

Someone missed the memo!

Being ignored after addressing someone is unacceptable.

One has to be reminded sometime the voice must be raised in order to capture their attention.

That reminder came today for an insolent boy.

The protocol is to open your book, and then do whatever you want after that.

It’s called tatemai, or better yet shakojirei.

One also had the class repeat the following at the beginning of the second period, for their own personal growth and edification.

千里の道も一歩から ~ senri no michi mo ippo kara
thousand-mile journey starts with first step

実るほど頭を垂れる稲穂かな ~ minoru hodo kobe wo tareru inaho kana
the more noble the more humble

自業自得 ~ jigyo jitoku
suffer consequences of own action

身から出た錆 ~ mi kara deta sabi
reap what you sow

自ずと明確になります ~ onozuto meikaku ni narimasu
clarity over time

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