Raised in the tumult of Japan’s industrial powerhouse, the 11 men and women profiled in A Different Kind of Luxury have all made the transition to sustainable, fulfilling lives. Based on Andy Couturier's popular articles in The Japan Times, this lushly designed volume has a wealth of stories about real people who have created an abundance of time for contemplation, connecting with the natural world, and contributing to their communities. In their success is a lesson for us all: live a life that matters. Read an excerpt of the book here or here. Read a review of the book here, here, or here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Quote to Start the Book With?

Below is a quote from last year, that Nakamura said. I'm thinking to start the book with it. Hmmm...

"In this life, the question of "Why have we come to be born? Why are we here?" Is such a huge question for every person. Of course we don't think about it all day, every day: that would be exhausting. We mostly are out looking for something delicious to eat! But everyone has one instant or another of wondering 'What does it mean to be alive?'

"Some people think about this all the time, and write thick books on the subject. Others only think about it for an instant, here or there. And of course, the very instant before death, everyone thinks about it, "Why did I come here?" But then they die and we can't ask them! [smiles] 'What does it mean to be alive?'

"So what is the correct answer? I have been trying to find this.

"You know, we learned in school about Pythagoras, and his trying to prove a theorem about a triangle. No matter how hard he thought about it, he couldn't get it, until, once he drew a single line through the triangle, and using that line, he was able to quickly understand the problem. In Japanese we call that line a "hojosen." So for me, for this question, I was looking for a "hojosen," and the hojosen, I think, is daily life. From daily life, I would be able to get an answer to this question. That's why I live in this way.

"Recently, I have begun to think that maybe there is no 'right answer.' For, after all, if six billion people have thought about this, by now, you might think that someone would have come up with a right answer, and the rest of us could just go and read it in a book. So even if there is no 'right answer,' I think the very most important thing is to try to find what that answer might be."

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