New Year’s Day 2020
Happy New Year!
On New Year’s Day, there are some things that I would like the next generation of young people to think about. When did you have your best-ever days? How did you behave and who supported you during that time? The brilliance of that time was not born only by your own efforts. It was a gift given as a result of family support, meeting with friends, and having people you can respect. In the future will it be possible for you to recreate such brilliance and when could it occur? Who you can meet depends completely on luck. And luck is a chain of chance, but it also influenced by your choices.
Your choices depend on your will, preferences, and emotions. Your choices will determine the shape of society that will affect you and the people you care about. A society where you can be happy depends on your choices. The society in which you are now is a collective consequence of each individual’s choices on every day in that society. As a result, it is not an immutable thing, but it is transformed every day into a new society by each individual’s choice on every day.
Don’t be afraid to change yourself as the society changes. Listen to your inner voice and make the choices that seem best, or at least make the choices that avoid the worst. The options may be to calmly observe society and do nothing, or to change the society, or to leave the society.
When selecting from a number of options, please think about your own value-judgement criteria, that is selection criteria, and then choose one option (or a mixed option obtained by respectively weighting multiple options). Your choice will follow from your own selection criteria. The selection criterion may be a single criterion, or a mixed selection-criterion obtained by respectively weighting multiple selection criteria. Over time, your own selection criteria will change, but I would like you to respect your own choices for making the current society a “better society” on the basis of your current selection criteria by considering the future society that you are dreaming of.
(Note) The main part of this essay is based on Akira Yokoyama, “Respect ‘Your Own Choices’ that are to Underpin Public Choice,” Green Grass (No. 301, p. 35, Chuo University Parents Liaison Meeting, May 2017) [in Japanese].
(Author: Akira Yokoyama)
This essay is the English version of No. 112, January 1, 2020 on the Japanese website.