Become Someone Else

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Heading to Parque Mexico in the afternoon sun, I am thinking that I have never had an honest dispute with Japanese since I stepped out from my mother’s womb. They never accept a person who has his unique opinions and who is different from them. Being Japanese means that one must have the same opinions and interests with everybody else. Above all, one must be exactly like everyone else; otherwise, one is not considered as good Japanese. It is a tragedy for a person who happens to be born different in Japan; they never let him continue being different. They insult him, say bad things for him on the sly, castrate him, and crucify him. On top of it all, they try to make him feel small with all their possible meanness. And why? Because they always feel insecure and envy a person who dares to show his individuality openly. Japanese just cannot allow others become someone else, while they are nonentities. They are constantly jealous of a person who has courage to be different and has courage to go on being in his own way. They feel insulted every time they see a person who lives on his life in his own sweet way, since they know from the innermost hearts: he is superior to them and has more energy in life than them. They become disgruntled every time they see a person who has a full of life, since they have no life; they work five days a week automatically. As soon as one manifests his uniqueness in Japan, he is labeled guilty, madman, and maladjustment; he is isolated and cut off from Japanese society.

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Don’t Understand Anything What You’re Talking About

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I convey my thoughts frankly, “Gerardo, I have to tell you even if you don’t understand what I’m talking about right now. If I invest in his business and earn easy money, I can’t write real books, because I would miss precious things, experiences. I need to suffer and undertake horrible ordeals, so that I can understand how I feel at the bottom. Experiences are everything, my friend. I need to live on my own life in order to accumulate significant experiences; one cannot write a real book only from vicarious obstacles. Moreover, I know that I have to earn some money to support myself, but investing in something to receive easy money is not my way of earning money. And also taking a job to earn money is not my way either. Earning money through writing is my way. If I can’t earn money through writing, I would rather be perished. I need to cast myself into a leap of faith entirely even if this means that I’ll be terribly suffered from poverty. Even if I don’t earn enough money to support myself, I’m feeling vividly alive each day. That is the whole point to me.”

He stands up and says briskly, “Shogo, I must go right now, for the meeting is starting in five minutes. And I really don’t understand anything what you’re talking about.”

With that, he is offering me a brief handshake and running back to the office agitatedly.

You Don’t Need to Suffer

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He lights a cigarette and expresses discord, “Shogo, what is wrong with easy money? You need to earn money in order to continue writing books. If you can’t find a publisher or can’t sell your book, what will happen? Right now you’re very fine, because everybody is helping you, you know, Ramon, Jorge, and me. But what will happen in the future if you don’t have money?”

“Nothing will change, Gerardo. I’m just keeping on expressing myself and writing books. I believe in myself. I’m pretty sure that I’ll find some way to carry on writing if I don’t give up. If one wants to do something from his innermost being, universe will help him. I strongly believe in that. Look, Ramon, Jorge, and you are helping me right now.”

“Because you’re surrounded with good people right now. But what will happen if you don’t have money in the future. Think about it seriously, Shogo. If you invest in it and receive easy money, as you put it, it’ll help you to keep on writing books, nevertheless. Writing books is your dream, isn’t it? You can’t run on writing books without money, my friend. Furthermore, I don’t understand why you always say that you need to suffer in order to write books. Why, Shogo? You can write books without suffering, I suppose. There is a way to earn money, so you don’t need to suffer. If there is no need to suffer, why do you prefer to suffer voluntary? It doesn’t make any sense to me. Please consider about the investment – you don’t need to suffer, Shogo.”

Refuse to Receive Easy Money!

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He drinks the glass of water and falls to pondering for a while. And then he suggests, “Shogo, I’ve been thinking that you should invest in something, so that you can earn some money to keep on writing. Right now you don’t have a job and have no steady income. I know you don’t care about money, but you need money to survive. For example, why don’t you invest in Jorge’s business? I always invest in it and earn a moderate sum.”

“No thanks, my friend. I’ll never do that. Besides, I have no money,” I reply laconically.

“I know you don’t have money right now. I’m just saying that when you have it, you should invest in his business, so that you can earn money without doing anything. As I’ve said, I’ve invested in it and earned reasonable sum for a couple of years. I don’t do anything; I just give money to him. He gives it back to me with interests after houses are constructed and sold. I think that it’ll be a good idea for you as a writer, for you’ll have a time to write your books without worrying about economic circumstances.”

“I don’t need easy money, my friend,” I exclaim. “If I have such easy money, I can’t write. I don’t care about money, but I truly care about my work. Look at me, Gerardo, I’ve been writing the truth and telling the world that money is not important. I’m telling the world that the essential thing in one’s life is to realize who he truly is. If I invest in it and earn easy money, nobody will believe in my books, which are supposed to speak the truth and communicate with people, you know…. People will recognize from writing if the books are real or not. Besides, I need to suffer, so that I can write with deep emotional expressions. Sorry my friend, I’ve been fighting for what I believe in. I’ll never invest in it and refuse to receive easy money!”

Go Back to the Real World、My Friend

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“It’s very sad to hear that I can’t trust people. You have a plenty of experiences to deal with a bunch of business men, so I won’t contradict you. However, I want to trust people. I don’t think that I’m going to resister my book. I’ll keep on sending the part of my manuscript to publishers. When I find the right publisher, they’ll get a copyright for my work. I think it’ll be no problem. Without trusting each other, everything will be collapsing eventually.”

He wipes his mouth with a napkin and counters with a displeased look, “As you said, it’s the very sad world we’ve lived in, for we can’t trust in each other anymore. But this is the reality, and you have to face it. Think about your hard toil, Shogo. If people steal your work, your past efforts will be nothing. Go back to the real world, my friend. Please get the manuscript registered and protect it. I’m not saying that trusting people is a bad thing; on the contrary, it’s a very good thing. I want to trust people either, but I simply can’t do it – that’s the goddamn reality.”

“But I can trust you.”

“It’s a totally different matter, since I’m your friend. But you can’t trust businessmen.”

I am looking for people passing-by for few seconds and utter considerably, “Thanks for the advice, my friend. However, I want to trust people even if they steal my work. You said before that if people steal my work, my sweet will be nothing. No, my friend, I don’t think so. Do you know why? Because I have the enormous satisfaction with my work. For me, reward, fame, and money aren’t the top priorities. To be candid with you, I don’t care about these insufficient things. People might steal my work, but people can’t steal my satisfaction, my friend.”

“Yap, you’re absolutely right about everything. I earnestly admire your purity and truly wish that I could agree with you, but people have to eat, you know. You need money, my friend. What you said is very beautiful and ideal. Or even poetic I should say. But in the reality people need to earn money to survive. Satisfaction is simply not enough; it is not able to give you a shelter, food, clothes, and so on and so forth. You need money to obtain these things. I think you should be more realistic. Sometimes I don’t understand you….”

“I might be a naïve artist and might not perceive the reality, as other people do, but I think if we can’t trust people and if we can’t appreciate a pure satisfaction, is life worthwhile to live? We’re living in the very sad world, my friend.”

“Yap, I admit we’re living in the very sad world, but what can we do? Starving to death? Not on your life, my friend.”