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2009年9月14日 (月)

香山リカのココロの万華鏡:思春期の悩みはラッキー /東京

(Mainichi Japan) September 13, 2009
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: Suffering from teen angst? Lucky you!
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:思春期の悩みはラッキー /東京

During the summer break, I was given the chance to present a lecture to a group of junior high school students in Hokkaido. Originally, I was only to give a talk to their parents and guardians in the evening, but was asked to add the kids to my schedule.

My student audience that afternoon numbered 200, drawn from every grade in the idyllic country town's two junior highs. Most of them were tanned nearly black, and looked very healthy. My current office is located in a business district, and I rarely have a patient under 16 years old. Even so, I can say that the faces of these kids were very different from those one sees in big cities.

I covered two topics that day. First of all, I explained to them that, even if they didn't have a concrete dream for the future, they would be OK. I told them that even if they hadn't noticed it consciously, deep in their hearts, many were already forming a plan for what direction they would take their lives in.

So, they should trust themselves, and for the time being, do their best with what's going on right now. "If you do that," I said, "your heart will set you on the right path."

Second, I told them that "those of you who find yourselves troubled, find yourselves hurt, you are the lucky ones." When in junior high, kids have a tendency to think their lives are terrible if they run up against a difficult experience, but this isn't so.

Kids who face up to and recover from the trials and aggravations of pubescence gain the courage and wisdom to overcome serious barriers throughout their lives.

Conversely, those kids who can say every day is fun and carefree, who go through those three years of junior high without knowing serious frustration or pain, will have to be careful when they are adults.

When I said this, I spotted a number of girls in the audience crying and covering their eyes.

Even in this small town, surrounded by nature, there are kids worried and hurt over issues with family and school friends. How could it be otherwise?

No matter how wholesome the environment is, how much one has grown up surrounded by sea and mountain, trouble and confusion between people does not go away, and it would not surprise me to learn that bullying was a problem in this town's junior highs.

No matter how tanned these kids are, how bright their eyes, we must realize that "kids today" remain subject to all manner of cares and worries.

"Kids look so happy, so they must really be happy inside as well." This is no more than an arbitrary and perhaps convenient way of thinking on the part of adults. I learned a lot from the tears of those students in that beautiful Hokkaido town. (By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)

毎日新聞 2009年9月8日 地方版


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