香山リカのココロの万華鏡: 「かさじぞう」になろう /東京

March 27, 2016 (Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: Recognizing others' kindness
香山リカのココロの万華鏡: 「かさじぞう」になろう /東京

I am often asked which types of people are likely to experience emotional disorders. Truthfully speaking, the answer is "anyone."
 「どんな性格の人が心の病になりやすいですか」という質問をよく受ける。正しく答えるならば「どんな人でもなります」だろう。

While even intransigent or unkind persons are sometimes known to experience depression, it is also true that a large number of the patients who visit my office could be characterized as people who are considerate and serious.
気が強い人、意地悪な人でも、うつ病などになるときはなる。
 ただ、診察室にいると「やさしい人やおとなしい人が多いな」という気はする。

Despite feeling unwell and suffering from illness themselves, quite a few such persons often say thoughtful things to me such as, "You are looking a little pale. Are you feeling tired?"
つらくて病院に来ているのに「先生、顔色がよくないけれど疲れてませんか?」と気づかってくれる人も少なくない。

I suppose that this is a tendency among kind people to go out of their way to do things for others, even if this means inconveniencing themselves -- and often using up all of their energy in the process.
やさしい人はそうやって、「自分よりまわりの誰か」のために心を砕き、無理をしてでも何かをしてあげて、そしてエネルギーを使い果たしてしまうのかもしれない。

Sometimes I struggle when thinking about this matter, since it would seem as if kindness is somehow a demerit, while those who think exclusively of themselves end up enjoying benefits.
 「では、やさしいというのは短所なのだろうか。結局、自分のことしか考えない人のほうが得をするのだろうか」とときどき悩んでしまう。

To be sure, people who defiantly take an attitude of "I was not the one at fault" no matter what the situation at hand, and who consistently blame others without looking at themselves, likely never end up practicing self-reproach or facing exhaustion.
たしかに、何があっても「悪いのは私じゃない」と開き直り、自分を棚に上げてまわりの人を責めてばかりいれば、自分を責めたり気疲れをしたりすることはなさそう。

Faced with the question of whether one might like to live in a society where everyone thinks only of their own well-being, however, and acts accordingly, I would wager to guess that most people would answer negatively.
 とはいえ、そうやってみんなが「自分さえよければよい」とばかりに自分勝手に振る舞う社会に住みたいかと言われれば、誰もが「それはいやだ」と言うだろう。

Small, thoughtful actions and consideration -- such as allowing others to pass in front of you on the street, or saying you are fine when asked how you are feeling to avoid causing others worry, even though you are actually feeling tired -- seem to help preserve the tranquility of everyday society.
「お先にどうぞ」と道をゆずり合い、疲れていてもときには「私は平気」とにっこり笑って心配をかけないようにする。
「いまこの人は元気かな」と目の前にいる人の様子をさぐってみる。そんなちょっとした気づかいや遠慮、やせがまんがあってこそ、世の中はなんとかうまく穏やかさを保っているのではないだろうか。

So what can be done to avoid thoughtful people becoming hurt, as well as to make sure that persons who are deeply considerate of others do not become tired to the point of exhaustion?
 では、どうすればそんなやさしい人が傷ついたり、遠慮深い人が疲れて倒れたりするのを防ぐことができるのか。

In my view, the answer seems to lie in the act of someone recognizing this type of thoughtfulness -- and then saying something like "Thank you" or "Please don't push yourself" to the person who is exercising it.
私はやはり、その人たちの思いやりに誰かが気づき、「ありがとう」「無理しすぎないでね」と声をかけてあげることではないかと思うのだ。

In reality, however, people these days are so occupied with their own personal issues that they simply pretend not to notice the presence of an overly considerate person -- and many of them will even go as far as to use such persons for the purposes of their own personal benefit.
ところがいまは、誰もが自分のことで精いっぱい、やさしすぎる人がいたとしても見て見ぬふりをして踏み台にする人さえ少なくない。

There is an old Japanese fable titled the "kasa jizou" -- "straw hat bodhisattva" -- which tells the story of an elderly couple who give their last straw hat to a bodhisattva statue to protect it from the snowy cold, and are later rewarded by a visit from the statue bearing gifts of food.
Through this tale, we understand that acts of kindness end up by eventually becoming rewarded. I wonder whether a modern-day version of this scenario exists, wherein people reward others by telling them, "I see your thoughtful actions."
 むかし話なら、「かさじぞう」のようにやさしい人はいつか報われる。現代の世の中に「あなたのやさしさを見ていましたよ」と言って、贈りものなどをしてくれる誰かはいるだろうか。

While I try to do my own part by acting as a "straw hat bodhisattva" in my office, it is unfortunate that the people who come to me are already exhausted and facing conditions such as depression.
せめて診察室の「かさじぞう」になりたい、と思っているが、来る人たちはすでに疲れすぎてうつ病などになっているのが残念だ。

It is my great hope that you, too, will become a "straw hat bodhisattva" by speaking up and letting someone know that their kindness has not gone unnoticed.
「あなたのやさしさ、知っていますよ」と誰かに声をかけてあげる「かさじぞう」に、あなたもなってほしい。

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist) (精神科医)
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by kiyoshimat | 2016-03-28 09:28 | 英字新聞

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