@ The second stage of my life
gIf you want to get something, abandon anotherh
I abandoned everything,
got to be able to walk got another partner
While I was the vice president of a certain educational organization for businesspersons in those days, I was taught a great lesson, which means, gif you want to get something big, try to abandon something.h The hidden lesson is that if you are too greedy, you will get less. If you really want to get something great, try to abandon something. I came to experience this meaningful lesson years later.
During my term of the chairman post of the group companies which lasted for two years, I was looking for the time to leave the home against my divorced wifefs will of living together as usual as mentioned earlier,. When I say, gleave the homeh, it meant the house asset was not under my name, but of her adaptive mother. I made a tax beneficial method of building it with the thought of my consideration for her in various meaning.
For about a month or so, I was obliged to live with my ex-wife in the same house, saying to her, gIn the mean time, I will leavech However, each time I say that, she stopped me to leave the home, saying, gThere is no need for you to leave here. You are supposed to stay with me as we used to be.h
I wonder what would the readers say to this conversation between me and my ex-wife. Believe it or not, this is a real story. It was ridiculous for me to stay with her any longer. Therefore, I was looking for a chance to go out.
It happened that a lady who was a widow with two children came to be my acquaintance with a group of people. Her children were a junior high boy and an elementary school daughter. We became to be so close that I visited her home sometimes, having dinner with her family all.
One night, I told her about my divorce with nowhere to go at that tiem. I said half by joke and half earnest, gCould I stay here?h She watched her children as if asking them what they think about my wish. Surprisingly, they said in a moment with no hesitation, gSure! Why not! Stay with us. We are OK!h This is the true story. I really mean it! Very dramatic and romantic story, isnft it?
Meeting with her and having a new life with her in her home with her two kids seemed to be the gift of God for me for playing the third stage of my life that came after retiring the companies a year after.
An interesting and shameful happening right after I suddenly left the ex-wifefs home with no previous notice was that she chased me by calling and yelling gCome back, come back!h When I was driving with my customer in the car, she often called the car phone with big voice asking to come back. So much so to the phone of my new residence. She (ex-wife) really seemed she never expected me going out. Funny story, indeed.
At any rate, what I have lost was big indeed, but I had another big fortune after my unhappy incident. I happened to meet the device for a crippled person to aid the walking much easier, which is called gbrace or supportive deviceh.
Ever since I was young, I used to pray to God that if I were ever given a luck to be able to walk not necessarily normally but could walk, say, with things in my hands, longer distance no matter how ugly my walking style is, I would never regret, even if I lose everything. By that, I did not mean I regretted my cripple deformity, only and barely because I thought I could do more things in my life. In other words, I wanted to do more so that God is pleased with my accomplishment that could be expected if I could walk more and easier to meet His will. gIf that is what God expects me to doh was my heart.
It was in around the first year of Heisei, the new Japanese era, in the Christian's era of 1989, when terrible pains began to feel so much on my left shoulder. I knew that the pains came from the stress brought by the walking cane that I began to use when I was 20-year old. The cane was given me by Mrs. Ann Adams, who appeared in the early stage in this book. It was in 1953 when we started corresponding each other by the chance of the newspaper article about her. Almost half a century of using the cane, which means that I placed my weight on the left handed cane giving the pressure on the shoulder that long and hard.
This happening played a motivation of my awakening of something. In those days, I used to go to a small mechanical shop for purchasing the cane tips made of gum. The tip was so fast worn out because of my constant heavy weight on it when walking. The shop was the brace maker, whose owner has one leg totally lost with artificial leg. He used to advise me often to make use of the supportive device on my right leg and left foot. However, each time I declined it by saying or thinking myself that trying to walk with my own legs and feet would do me and my legs and feet better no matter ugly my style is. The pains made me to shift my mind that I was wrong. I made up my mind to use braces on my leg and foot.
This happened when I was 61-year old. In order that I order the braces which cost some \250,000, I was advised by the shop owner to get the disabled personfs certificate for the first time in my life. It has a privilege of tax reduction and others, and I knew it, but my pride as a top businessperson did not allow me to get that benefit. The doctor who examined my physical condition said to me, gWhy was it that you have not registered in spite of that much of the disabled condition?h
After all, I have been thankful in using the braces ever since. Before telling how big my pleasure and convenience the braces have brought me, let me tell something about my physical condition and how the braces work to me.
My right leg has almost completely paralyzed from the hip joint to the knee and the ankle, with only the knee barely bend a little back and forth never able to support the body weight. The left knee is not paralyzed completely but one third of the supporting strength in comparison to the normal person and the ankle is completely paralyzed. My right leg is unable to support my body even a second so that the cane in my left hand used to play my right leg and the left leg played as if the right leg.
The work of the brace for the left foot, therefore, is so designed and made that the left ankle is made a steady 90-degree aangle with flexible moving, while the knee is free from the brace.
The right braces is on the whole leg, from the hip joint through the knee to the ankle. Once the knee joint locked, it stands the body weight all right but cannot bend the knee while walking. When I sit, l unlocks the knee joint.
The left braces is for keeping the ankle steady from the toes hanging down. This makes my left foot possible to make a firm and steady step to the ground never to let the ankle twisted.
The important thing that I have to keep in mind when I walk with the braces is that my left foot never goes to the lower level first trying always to step it with the right foot. If I ever violate this rule, I would fall down ahead.
When I step upward regardless how high or low it is, the left foot free of brace on the knee must come first and push it up so that the both legs and feet come to the same level to be ready to move the nest step. The trouble is that the left knee, which is the only organ possible to work, has only half the power of the ordinary person. Therefore, stepping up and down need something or someone to have my hand support.
I still remember vividly the exciting feeling and satisfaction when I put on the braces and stood up! I felt as if I became the King the ruler with huge power in his hands, in my case under his feet. I really mean it! The normal person could hardly imagine how it was exciting to be able to stand up straight on feet.
In the process of making miner changes and improvements of the braces, I played so many important roles so that they fit me to my satisfaction. My past technical knowledge and experiences help me great deal.
I made a trial to walk without using the walking cane. It was one of the dreams. It took sometime before I try to walk with no cane because I had strong preconceived notions of being unable to walk without it for such a long period of time. This gave me a hint to try to have a daily habit of taking a walk without it every morning. Later years, this developed to my plan of making a one- month trip to the United States for investigation in the trucking industry, which appears ahead.
The medical doctor who was appointed as the special industrial doctor for our group companies, looking at my walking with the braces, said to me, gI often thought about of advising you to use the device, but I was hesitant to tell about your physical disability.h His word gave me an impression that in this country (Japan), it is a matter of taboo to tell about other persons' physical deformity. I felt something strange and unkindness in the Japanese way of thinking. This may come from the rareness of the rate of the disabilities in Japan. Only 0.5% of the whole population are handicapped people, while the American and European countries have some 10 to 20%.
Ever since I became blessed with the braces, I try to give advises to the persons in the same trouble I used to have. One time I happened to see a heavily crippled person in the elevator. I was brave enough to tell the person about my braces, and how I became happy with it.
Now, ever since I became able to walk far much better than I used to, I began to say in heart in each step, gThank you, thank you for making me able to walk like this much!h In the third stage of my life, I used to travel throughout Japan making lectures. Wherever I go, the braces helped a great deal making me feel free from the anxiety I use to have each time I move from place to place using public transportation. When I make lectures, I came to be able to use whiteboard with a magic pen in hand.
People say, gWhy was it that you used the braces much earlierh. My answer was gWhen things come to me, it was the best time for me. Everything comes from the will of God.h
History allows no gIfh. If I were to say it, I would say that it would have led me not necessarily to a right and good direction. Men are apt to become arrogant when everything goes too well and good. In my case, as early wrote, the physical adversity turned to be my motivation for cultivating and developing my own life to come. The disabled made me what I am.
As mentioned earlier in this paragraph, I used to pray in my boyhood that if I ever become to be able to walk better, I would accept and be ready to lose anything. This prayer of mine was indeed fulfilled when I got the braces to walk better in that I lost my companies and even a wife with whom I lived for 31-year with two sons and a daughter.
Another thing that I was given was, as described earlier, is the woman with whom I could live after the divorce. She was a daughter of a father who was the owner of a construction company. She teaches the Japanese flower arrangement and the tea ceremony to many students. She used to say gI picked you up to make a living in my house with kids because you have no place to go. Ha, ha.h
The readers might think that I was a sort of a parasite in her home, but never the one with financial dependence on her. In fact, I gave her all the amount of pension I began to accept at the age of 61. It was more than three million yen a year.
Coming back to the proverb of gGetting comes from abandoningh, I would like to write a little more. It turns to be a good lesson for everyone, especially those who have high social status or men of wealth. I could make a lecture under that title because I have my own experiences of it.
Supposing a man with luxuries full in both hands and it happens when he or she meets more treasures free to take in hands, but in vain with the fear of dropping off or losing ones in hands. If the hands are full of treasures, they might be too tired of grasping them so hard that the hands begin to open losing and dropping the treasures.
While a man with empty hands could, at all time, be ready to grasp the fortunes when they come. Even if lost one time chance, another one might come. His hands might be filled with joy another day, or better say, he has good enough room to receive happiness even though it might be small.
My experience tells me that if a person has too much attachment to the status, he or she tends to be greedy more so as to invite criticism among people and even come to destroy himself.
In Japan, we have strong gsectionalismh in every field, especially in the business worlds where the governmental certificate or the license is required. The trucking industry is one of them. The trucking associations throughout the country, for example, have their executive posts to the retired from the ministry of transportation or its local offices. This scheme builds what we call gconvoy systemh, which tends to protect the industry from the real competitive circumstances, that is, the regulation.
I used to have some 17 or 18 public statuses, but sent the letters of resignation even though I had more than a half year of the term left. Once I came to determine to do something or abandon, I take quick action with no regret. Strange to say, new good things came to me after I abandoned something. Give or abandon, and you shall be given seems to be right.