香山リカのココロの万華鏡:あなただけじゃない /東京

(Mainichi Japan) December 31, 2011
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: The importance of welcoming the New Year together
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:あなただけじゃない /東京

The New Year's holiday is rather short this time.
 今年はカレンダーの関係で年末年始の休みが少ない、という人もいるようだ。

Even if we spend only two to three days away from our workplaces, however, it is a tradition in Japan on the last day of work to tell our colleagues, "You were kind to me during this past year, have a good New Year," as well as to ask for their kindness during the new year when we see them for the first time in January.
それでもたとえ2、3日しか間があいてなくても、仕事納めの日に「今年もお世話になりました」「よいお年を」と、仕事始めの日には「今年もよろしく」とあらたまってあいさつをする。

We have formed a habit to think that everything is reset with the beginning of a new year.
正月が来るとすべてがリセットされる、というのが、私たちの社会の習慣のようだ。

However, there are things, such as sadness, illness and anguish, which unfortunately, do not disappear easily, even with the end of a year and the beginning of a new one.
 でも、残念ながら悲しみや苦しみ、病などは、年が変わったからといって簡単に消えてなくなりはしない。

This year in particular, with the Great East Japan Earthquake, tsunami and the ongoing nuclear disaster, I believe there are many people who will welcome 2012 with still lingering anxieties.
とくに今年は、東日本大震災などの影響で、「悩みを抱えたまま年を越す」という人が多いのではないだろうか。

We should not forget about these people.
私たちは、そういう人たちのことを忘れてはならない。

In 2008, many "temporary workers" who had lost their jobs were invited to spend New Year's Eve and the first days of 2009 in the so-called tent camp, "Toshikoshi Hakenmura," or "New Year's Village for Temporary Workers," in the Hibiya area in Tokyo.
 2008年には「年越し派遣村」ができて、“派遣切り”にあった人たちなどが東京の日比谷を中心に集まった。

The next year, the so-called "Kosetsu Hakenmura" (Public Village for Temporary Workers) was organized, inviting unemployed people, or those living alone, to spend the holiday with others. They were given food, some money to use for transportation while looking for jobs, and a place to spend these traditionally important days.
次の年の暮れには全国に「公設派遣村」がもうけられ、単身者や失業者で生活に困窮している人たちに、年末年始の居場所や食事、仕事探しための交通費などが支給された。

However, since then, there hasn't been a single large-scale "New Year's Village."
 ところが、その後、大規模な「年越し村」は実施されなくなった。

I'm sure that there are many reasons, but it is a fact that there were many people who criticized such events, believing that they were used by some who "don't try hard to reconstruct their lives." Some thought of the events as a waste of taxpayer's money.
理由はひとつではないと思うが、そのひとつに「まじめに生活を再建しようとしない人までが利用している」「税金のむだづかい」といった批判の声の高まりがあったことは確かだ。

That some continued to struggle under difficult conditions while others reaped the benefits of the "villages" may have appeared unreasonable. It may have made the people at those "villages" seem coddled.
厳しい状況の中、がんばっている人たちも多い中、「年越し村」でケアを受けた人だけがいい思いをするのは理不尽に見え、甘えているだけに思えたのかもしれない。

But is this really the case?
 しかし、本当にそうなのだろうか。

In my opinion, the "New Year's Villages" may have helped more than those who were the ostensible recipients of care.
「年越し村」で救われたのは、実際にそこに出かけた人だけではなかったのではないか。

A patient of mine, who is unemployed and single, told me the following at the time:
私の診察室で、ひとり暮らしで失業中の患者さんが当時、こんな話をしてくれたことがあった。

"I have my own apartment, so I welcomed the New Year there.
 「私はアパートがあるから、そこでひとりで年を越しました。

But it was reassuring just knowing that if I became really lonely, I could go to Hibiya, where there would have been people and warm food."
でも、どうしても寂しくなったら、日比谷に行けば誰かがいるんだ、お雑煮もあるんだ、と思うだけでなんとなく心強かったですよ」

We all want to spend the end of a year and the beginning of a new year with someone.
 年の暮れや正月こそ、誰かといっしょにすごしたい。

I assume that this feeling is even stronger among people who usually feel lonely or depressed.
ふだん孤独な人、悩んでいる人こそ、そう思うはずだ。

For those who have lost their homes, jobs, and families, all the more so.
家族や仕事、住まいを失った人は、なおさらだ。

I wish that on a year like 2011, there were such places across Japan, where everyone would gather, shoulder to shoulder, and welcome the New Year together.
今年のような年こそ、大勢の人が肩を寄せ合ってすごせる「年越し村」が全国にできてもよかったのに、と思う。

You are not the only one who feels lonely.
寂しいのは、あなただけじゃない。

We all feel that way.
みんな同じなのだ。

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2011年12月27日 地方版
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by kiyoshimat | 2012-01-02 07:52 | 英字新聞

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