Fable: At the base of Mt. Fuji in Japan was a dense forest that was home to many animals. A group of samurai warriors passing by decided to cut down the forest and make place for a training ground for martial arts. But a monk who lived in a secluded monastery nearby objected. Since the Samurai could not fight the monk, they decided on a simple competition to end the argument. The Samurai and the monk would race to the top of Mt. Fuji and the person who lost would have to leave.
The samurai chose their fittest soldier and next morning both the monk and the soldier set off from the base of Mt Fuji to reach its summit. The samurai being young and energetic quickly took the lead. For a while the going was easy, but soon he found his path blocked by thick forests that cut into his flesh when he tried to pass. But the Samurai used his sword and cut his way up. He climbed hurriedly but his path was blocked by steep rocks. The samurai shed his heavy armour and sword and began to climb. He climbed for hours even though the way kept getting tougher. Soon he found himself hanging from a precipice with no way to go further. Many hours passed and by the next morning the Samurai’s strength was completely drained. He was about to let go of his hold and fall down to his death, when a hand reached out from above and pulled the Samurai up. The grateful Samurai was surprised to see that it was the monk who had saved his life. The Samurai was ashamed and he asked the monk how had he managed to climb up so fast. The monk explained that when you climb a mountain, you don’t make your own path, but you let the mountain show you the path.
Moral: We need to learn to make our way around Nature, not against Nature.
Amazing Fact: Mt. Fuji is the highest mountain of Japan. It is one of Japan’s three “Holy Mountains” along with Mount Tate and Mount Haku.
From Fable to Film:
On March 11, 2011 a huge tsunami hit the north eastern part of Japan, causing immense damage and taking many lives. Watch this trailer of a short documentary about how the Japanese people took inspiration from nature to rebuild their lives.
Directed by Academy Award Nominated filmmaker Lucy Walker, featuring photography by Aaron Phillips and music by Moby.
Discussion: A study has shown that catastrophic incidents related to nature are on the rise. A lot of the world is still debating whether this can be linked to man made activities. But this debate does nothing for the people who suffer.
What can we do to be prepared for the changing times?