Page 19 - The Way of Beauty - Meidao

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7

"Hold on. Does that mean that Eric does not have to take classes for two years?"

"I suppose so, but he's smart enough that he doesn't have to worry about his long-term future. The business world is very charmed by these kinds of people. He'll have an advantage later, when he's applying for a job, because he devoted himself full-time to this. You understand that these students belong to a creative and adventurous group. Although they may not be attending classes, they are not learning nothing - on the contrary, they will be considered more useful in the business world later on. They can already be considered full members of society. But I must say," he concludes, "if the students involved full-time in the program are learning one practical thing, it is only the feeling of stress."

"Yes, but are they learning how to handle stress? I mean, for now and for later on when they are working."

"No, not really! There is no time off to study that part."

"And you just told me they got time off to bridge the gap between theory and practice."

Murphy looks at Yamada and they laugh together for the first time.

Clearly enjoying his cup of green tea, Yamada shakes his head deep in thought, then continues.

"We cannot escape it. We badly need a new way of thinking. The pressure is increasing. People are subject to greater levels of stress all the time. Here too in Japan , this is expressed in alcohol and tobacco abuse. Combined with the

economic crisis of the last several years, this is a huge social problem. Many Japanese people talk about being sociable, but they have forgotten the deeper meaning behind it. Everything revolves around money and status nowadays. At night, many drink way too much alcohol with their business partners, pretending to be 'social'. Alcohol plays too important a role in doing business. If this doesn't stop, soon we will be stuck with a new generation of sick people - people who come to work in the

morning ill and who cannot think clearly for the whole day. The West, and Japan as well, must prepare for the coming storm. The differences between East and West are becoming smaller and smaller."

Murphy smiles as he sees Yamada bring his hands close together and make a grimace that causes his already-small eyes to appear even tinier.

"You're right," Murphy says, " we're all too busy - young or old, man or woman. On the plane over here I was thinking about how we work for most of our

Page 19 - The Way of Beauty - Meidao

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