Top Story: 2. August 2009
By Editor in Chief, Jaakko Saari
This Friday I finally decided to do something about the headache that had been bothering me. So I went to a local hospital near the station. My favorite clinic is a little a bit far, so I decided to go to this place, which is more near to my house.
The hospital was totally empty in the morning as I arrived there. I was greeted politely by the nurses and I handed my insurance card to them, filled my name to the form and soon I was called to see the doctor.
He told me to sit down and asked what's wrong with me. I said I have had headache since Monday, and that it's pretty heavy one. Without letting me to finish or explain my symptoms, the doctor asked whether I have any allergies for medicines. "Not that I know of", I said, and the doctor told me to open my mouth. He looked into it with his head light and quickly checked my nostrils. Then, he asked me again whether I really have any allergies or not and prescribed me a load of painkillers. Come again if it gets worse. O-daijini!
The procedure took approximately three minutes. Really. The doctor didn't seem to have time or interest for the cause of my headache. Just, painkillers, whatever. His hasted manner couldn't be explained because of busy schedule or patients waiting. There was no patients in the hospital except me. What's great about Japan is that if you have bad experience in a certain hospital, you can just walk away and find another one.
But I can't help but noticing that this symptom of lacking human communication also elsewhere. People still keep their polite speech, but it seems like the spirit, or meaning behind this politeness is somehow lost. The economical situation has only made it worse. This is no doubt a global phenomena.
But Japan is famous of friendly, gentle and well-mannered people, isn't it? Confucius teaches the importance of humanity and gentliness. "What you do not wish for yourself, do not do to others" should be the core of this Chinese philosophy that has greatly influenced Japan through the ages, and is still present today. In public bath I often meet elderly people who have time to chat with me and talk about weather. In their eyes, I find no worries about global economy. They are just concentrating on living in this moment. And they actually talk with strangers.
And the doctor in the other clinic which I'm still fan of, has time to talk with elderly people and children. I have been to several Japanese hospitals and usually I have had very good experience.
I think it's not the fault of people for losing their gentliness. People are simply too busy. Most of Japanese people think so.
The daily schedule of Japanese working people, especially teachers, is nearly impossible. After finishing their work in the school, usually after seven or eight a clock, they return home, where they resume their work. They have to fix the homework of students and prepare for next day's lesson. They are exchausted. Most of them work in home or school during the weekends too.
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Salarymen don't get it any easier. It is not uncommon at all for salarymen to return home after eleven. The Japanese summer holiday is very short. While people in countries like Finland enjoy at least a month of paid holiday, Japanese people have to make do with less than two weeks.
So I can't really blame the doctor or the lady in the bank for not being kind and gentle for me. Times are hard and people have to try to keep their jobs. But government and mass communication is feeding us with an idea that money is the most important thing. I mean, we even got supplement funds to boost the economy. And of course we shop. What else can we do? So what if there is no time for a friendly greeting.
Myself I find it sad that the gentle values are so easily sacrificed.
I mean, there used to be a better way.
I think this heavy economical city is cult society. Mass media is controlled by big company through advertisements. Big companies seek their profit. They need economical society. This is not cool Japan but FOOL Japan. I don\'t have any hope of this system(in any case,I will enjoy my life).