Class Fee Of Life
Class Fee Of Life
The class fee of life shows up in many ways, with the key recognizing it when it comes.
There have been many teachers, some harsh, others gentle, like the whispering voice of a Muse gently nudging one along the way.
The Japanese have a delightful 4-character compound in what could arguably be the perfect description for the class fee of life:
han men kyō shi – examples of how not to behave
Speaking from experience, a certain lesson was presented over and over.
After ignoring the gentle whispers, was then bludgeoned by a raging tragedy of one’s own making.
This lead to the end of a decades-long marriage, a failed business, loss of self-esteem, and doubts about one’s place in this complex world.
Luckily enough, one own father set an example of resilience and fortitude in times of crises, self inflicted or otherwise.
He was sued by a major oil company (Chevron) when he was in his mid-sixties (sold a gas station and Datsun dealership in the mid 70s, and was sued in the 2000s due to contamination of the site with Chevron leaded gas).
He lost almost everything (Margaret stayed), including his house, but what he did not lose was his humanity, nor his fine sense of humour.
Using the power of the internet, one noticed a minor acquaintance from a distant past.
Observing this feed served as a reminder of what it looks like when an individual has made no meaningful progress in life.
The post consisted of a bottle of whisky, along with a big jug of Coke (beware of sodium benzoate), with the caption, “who’s getting wasted?”
Frankly, anyone in their 5th decade of life proclaiming their desire to get “wasted” indicates a profound lack of awareness of the almighty han men kyo shi.
One would have to wonder if not brutal hangovers, or very unpleasant behaviour often accompanying “getting wasted” is not some form of the class fee of life, and to ignore it, is to do so at one’s own peril.
Think of the class fee of life in the following way:
A needle on vinyl in the symphony of life.
It skips back while play the same old tired phrase, over and over and over, again and again and again, until a light comes on (or does not [see ↑ above]).
Then, and only then, one’s very own glorious symphony will continue until the magnificent Swan Song, the grand finally at the end of one’s own journey through this primordial sludge of what is now called earth.
Learn from the past
Live in the present
Plan for the future
門前の小僧習わぬ経を読む – mon zen no kozō narawanu kyō wo yomu
experience is the best teacher
虎穴に入らずんば虎子を得ず koketsu ni irazunba koshi wo ezu
nothing ventured nothing gained*
*This expression say that: “unless you enter the tigers den you can not get the tiger cub”
Although this may be true, never forget, one also runs the risk of having head chewed off by agitate mother.
Be cautious when entering the tigers den, for it just might be you who is the baby tiger cub’s lunch.