In the autumn of 2011, Arashi held their Beautiful World Tour. They wanted to assure people that, despite the devastating Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami, the world was still a good place, still beautiful--that there was hope.
Each of the Arashi members issued statements saying what he thought the phrase Beautiful World meant. The one that struck me most was by Aiba Masaki.
It's not really a Beautiful World
if you're making requests and demands, is it?
Caring about what is around you,
just wanting to feel happy.....
I think it can be a Beautiful World
even if there's nothing there, definitely.
Having nothing doesn't necessarily mean you're poor;
it's the indifference that is sad.
So, caring even when you have nothing,
I think that's what a Beautiful World would be.
Aiba-chan's statement comes from the heart, and it comes from a person who honestly thought he might not live to stand on stage again because, about six weeks earlier, he had been admitted to the hospital with another episode of spontaneous pneumothorax. His health is not strong but his love for making other people happy is a driving force. He knows what it is to struggle extra hard to avoid being derailed by illness.
That effort is something I especially respect because I know a bit about battling with health, too. That is why I keep Aiba's Beautiful World quote in a pretty glass frame on my dressing table where I will be encouraged and reminded daily of the importance of not being indifferent, of not making undue demands, of caring even in difficult circumstances.
It reminds me, too, that
Life is good.
We can make our world beautiful.
*I wish that I could attribute the person who translated this quote from Japanese to English but, alas, I cannot.
It has, after all, been five years and I have forgotten. My apologies.