散詩語録

Rain or Shine, there is a meaning to your life

Mitsuo Ochi

  先の見えないコロナ禍の中で、心が折れそうな毎日を過ごしている方も少なくないと思います。広島大学のキャンパスも、学生の皆さんの入構を制限せざるを得ない時期が続き、唇をかみしめる1年でした。
 第二次大戦時のナチス強制収容所での体験をつづった『夜と霧』で知られるヴィクトール・フランクルは、次のような人生に対する考え方を残しています。
 「どんな時も、人生には意味がある」
 「あなたを待っている〝誰か〟がいて、あなたを待っている〝何か〟がある」
 「その〝何か〟や〝誰か〟のために、あなたにもできることがある」(諸富祥彦『フランクル 夜と霧』NHK出版による)
 絶望的な状況を生き抜き、紡ぎ出されたフランクルの思想は、コロナの時代を生きるヒントを与えてくれる気がします。
 そんなある日、大学院国際協力研究科で平和構築を学ぶ内田涼さんから、1通のメールをいただきました。インド洋に浮かぶスリランカで、平和構築活動に従事するNPOを、日本の大手化粧品会社の支援の下に立ち上げたという報告でした。
 20年余り続いた内戦が2009年に終結したスリランカでは、その後も民族や宗教による社会の分断が深刻化しているそうです。コロンボ大学に留学した経験もある内田さんは、政府や現地の自治体、大学、医師らと協力してNPOを設立。2020年10月から内戦の主戦場であった北部州地域を舞台に、スリランカ固有の有用植物栽培を通じ、人々の雇用と生活を確保できる環境づくりを、同じ研究科の梶下佳成さんと一緒に始めました。
 ご承知の通り、広島大学は原爆で廃墟となった広島の地に「自由で平和な一つの大学」を建学の精神として設立されました。私も学長に就任して以来、「平和を希求し、チャレンジする国際的教養人の育成」を掲げてきました。
 メールには「これまで、広島大学で学び培った知識をもとに、平和構築に関する研究を継続しながら実践活動も行い、スリランカの平和に少しでも貢献したいと考えています」と記されていました。
 世界が苦境に陥っている今こそ、求められている活動です。その一歩を踏み出した二人にエールを送ります。広島大学の学生・卒業生の皆さんが、誇りをもって世界をステージに羽ばたいていくことを願っています。

 

Whilst people are getting on with their lives as best they can, the fact that there is no clear end in sight to the COVID-19 catastrophe means that many people are at breaking point. It has been an enduring year, including for Hiroshima University (HU), as we have been forced to implement a no-entry-to-campus policy for a considerably long time.
In his work ‘Man's Search for Meaning,’ Viktor Frankl wrote about his experiences at Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II. Some of the essential messages of Frankl are summarized in the writings of Yoshihiko Morotomi as follows:
‘No matter what happens, your life has a purpose and meaning.’
‘There is always someone waiting for you, just as there is always something waiting for you.’
‘There is also something that you can do for that someone and something.’
Source: ‘Frankl---Yoru to Kiri (Man's Search for Meaning)’ by Yoshihiko Morotomi (NHK publishing, Inc.)
I believe that this message sheds light on how we should live our daily lives in this era of the COVID-19 pandemic because surviving the seemingly hopeless situation in the camp caused Frankl to express those words.
One day, quite unexpectedly I received an e-mail from Ryo Uchida, a HU student at the Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation, who specializes in peace-building strategies. The e-mail stated that, with the help of one of the major cosmetic companies in Japan, Mr. Uchida successfully launched an NPO in Sri Lanka (an island country in South Asia, located in the Indian Ocean), which is engaged in peace-building activities.
In Sri Lanka, the civil war that had lasted more than 20 years finally came to an end in 2009. However, due to differences in ethnic and religious causes, the social divisions in Sri Lanka have continued to get worse. Mr. Uchida, who once studied at the University of Colombo, managed to establish the NPO with the institutional help of the Government of Sri Lanka, the local municipal government, local universities, and physicians. As the northern region of the country was the main battlefield of the civil war, Mr. Uchida together with Mr. Yoshinari Kajishita from the same graduate school at HU, decided to focus on this region to build an environment where local people’s employment can be generated and sustained by planting and growing useful plants that are unique to Sri Lanka.
As you are aware, HU was established on the land of Hiroshima, which had been destroyed by the atomic bomb, with the founding principle of ‘a single unified university, free and pursuing peace.’ Since having been inaugurated as the President of HU, I have been flying the flag to ‘cultivate peace-pursuing, cultured individuals with an international mindset and a challenging spirit’ for the university.
The e-mail from Mr. Uchida described above also stated, ‘By making use of the knowledge that I have acquired at HU, I would like to contribute, in any small way, towards realizing peace in Sri Lanka by continuing my research on peacebuilding and committing myself to hands-on activities there.’
In the face of the current global predicament, their actions are timely and highly called for. I would like to offer my heartfelt congratulations to these two students who have made an important first step in their project. Likewise, I sincerely hope that both alumni and current students of HU will spread their wings across the world with their heads held high.

 


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