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2008年9月16日 (火)

敬老の日

(Mainichi Japan) September 15, 2008
Respect for the Aged Day
余録:敬老の日

The little girl Nelly was close to her next door neighbor, Bartholomew. When she was a toddler, the old man took her on walks in a stroller, and when she began to totter about on her own, he lent her a helping hand when she needed one. As Nelly grew up, Bartholomew grew older.
少女ネリーは隣のおじいさんととても仲良し。赤ちゃんのころは毎日、ベビーカーで散歩に連れていってもらい、ヨチヨチ歩きだすと、必要な時だけ手を貸してくれました。ネリーが成長していくと、おじいさんはもっとおじいさんになっていきます

One day, Bartholomew got injured and had to use a wheelchair. So Nelly began to push him around in it and take him on walks, just as he had done for her when she was little. As the days passed, they made "special trades" for everything -- the baby stroller for the wheel chair, the helping hand of the old man for the helping hand of the young girl.
ある日、けがをして車イスの生活になったおじいさん。今度はネリーが、かつて自分がしてもらったように車イスを押して散歩に出かけます……。月日が流れると、ベビーカーが車イスに、手を引くのが老人から少女に、とすべての場面が「とっかえっこ」

"A Special Trade," by Sally Wittman (translated by Shuntaro Tanigawa as "Tottoki no tokkaekko"), is an American picture book that gracefully tells us how we should treat the elderly that we encounter. Indeed, as we live our lives, we all trade in one role for another.
米国の絵本「とっときのとっかえっこ」(谷川俊太郎訳、童話館出版)は、周りが老人にどう接していけばいいのか、さりげなく伝えてくれる。私たちは役割を「とっかえっこ」しながら時代を生きている

Today is Respect-for-the-Aged Day, and it is quite sad to hear depressing tales of grandchildren who steal from, or even kill their grandparents. And due to the shortage of young workers, the elderly are forced to rely increasingly on foreign workers to provide their nursing and home care. As long as the nuclear family displaces the extended family, and people live longer, the gulf between generations will continue to widen.
きょうは敬老の日だが、孫が祖父母の金を奪ったり、殺したりする暗い事件ばかりが浮かび、悲しくなる。看護・介護の現場では、若い労働力の不足で外国人労働者に頼らざるをえなくなった。核家族化や長寿化が進むほど、世代間の断絶が深まっている

And as the income gap increases, young low-income earners and the elderly will suffer the most.
さらに最近の格差拡大でもっとも苦しんでいるのが老人とワーキングプアの若者だ。

In the October issue of "Sekai" magazine, psychiatrist Inada Nada and author Karin Amamiya have called on young people and the elderly to join hands to "change Japan," and are urging that more respect be given to the spirit of mutual assistance rather than the concept of self-responsibility.
そんな老人と若者が連帯して「日本を変えよう」と精神科医のなだいなださんと作家の雨宮処凛(かりん)さんが訴えている(雑誌「世界」10月号)。自己責任論よりも相互扶助の精神を尊重しようというのだ

In this summer's hit movie, "Ponyo on the Edge of a Cliff by the Sea," there is a nursery school situated right next to a nursing home for the aged. The director Hayao Miyazaki apparently believes that "mutual support between generations" begins with exchanges between children and the elderly. To respect the aged is to sustain the hope to live.
今夏にヒットした映画「崖の上のポニョ」では保育園と老人ホームが隣り合わせにあった。「世代間の支え合い」は子供と高齢者の交流から始まると宮崎駿監督も思っているようだ。老いを敬うことは生きる希望をつなぐことだ。

("Yoroku," a front-page column in the Mainichi Shimbun)
毎日新聞 2008年9月15日 0時11分

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