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【May 26, 2008】読売新聞より Yomiuri Newspaper 心に届いた言葉 -物じゃない夢をもて The words that touched our Heart ‘Have a dream, but one that is not material’

米インディアナ州・ノートルダム大に留学していた21歳の時、専攻していたマーケティングの最終講義で、教授から贈られた言葉です。勉学にいそしみ、友人と組んだバンドでドラムをたたき、図書館でのアルバイトにも励む多忙な毎日。今思えば、将来の夢なんて深く考えておらず、ピンときていませんでした。私はインド系アメリカ人ですが、生粋の「神戸人」。7年間の留学を終え、父の貿易の仕事に携わっていた1995年、阪神大震災に遭いました。生まれ育った街が壊滅的な被害を受け、通っていた中央区の幼稚園は全壊。思い出が奪われたようでした。そんな中、報道などで家族を失った子どもたちの姿を見ました。「彼らの助けになりたい」。温かい家庭に恵まれた自分の環境を振り返ってそう思った時、教授の言葉がよみがえったのです。いい車に乗りたい、大きな家に住みたい、といった「物質的な夢」は、お金でかなえられます。でも、震災遺児の支援は、お金だけではだめ。どうすれば真の支援ができるのか、考え続けることが今の私を支えています。

 

When I was about to turn 21 years old and studying at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, USA, I was told about the importance of having a dream in life, at one of my marketing professor’s lecture. This was during the period of university education, where I had been spending hours a day studying to get good grades to graduate, while playing the drums in a rock band together with my friends, and working part-time at the university library. I rarely had the opportunity to contemplate over a dream or even think about having a dream, nor did I really understand what my professor was attempting to imply to us. I am an ethnic Indian-American, born and raised in Kobe known as ‘Kobe jin’. In 1995, when the great Hanshin Awaji earthquake shook the ground under us, I was concentrating on managing the growth of our family’s international trading business. This city that I was born and raised in had been severely destroyed, sort of reminding me of the scenes in a war movie, and the Japanese preschool which I had attended in Chuo-ku, was completely destroyed, in addition to numerous family and business interests. However, the fact that my pre-school no longer existed brought great sadness and feeling of emptiness, as though part of my childhood was destroyed. The scene of the dilapidated pre-school building along with the devastation of Kobe led me to wonder about the many children who, not only lost schools for them to learn in, but also have lost their loved ones, especially parent(s). The feeling of helplessness and sense of mission to help and contribute somehow to help these children, arose in me and gave me some sense of mission in life. I felt as though it was my duty to somehow help such children, with the limited resources available to me. Then, reflecting on how fortunate I was, blessed with a warm, healthy and supportive family, where most basic needs were met, I recalled my marketing professor’s words of wisdom.  Anything material, such as cars, houses, jewelry etc, could be acquired by money or as gifts, but there is no limit in one’s own want; also it is often part of human nature to crave for more. Financial assistance is one form of aid to help heal the wounds of those children deprived of education and thus create brighter and creative future; in hopes that they will eventually be able to actively participate as productive citizens of the community, country and the world. I dream of the opportunity to pursue and seek ways on how we, as people, can make a positive difference to those children of various ages, by providing opportunities to expand their knowledge and help them maximize their potential in pursuit of happiness.

This was the professor: http://web2.business.nd.edu/Faculty/faculty_bio_dmpage.cfm?who=jgaski

 

この記事・写真は、読売新聞社の許諾を得て転載しています
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