The world envies Japan’s honesty and security


There is something unique about humanity that yearns for good and moral action

Police officers are seen here in Tokyo, Japan on May 22. (Photo: AFP)

Posted: October 19, 2022 03:07 GMT

Updated: October 19, 2022 06:09 GMT

“I purposely left the shopping bag—about $50 worth of groceries—in the bike basket. Two hours later, I came back… and nothing, everything was still there. I posted this message in Japan’s largest Facebook group and received hundreds of comments. I repeated the same thing in Italian and French bands and it went viral among them too.

It is not a coincidence. There’s a reason such a simple post would get such an intense reaction, so much so that as I write this, seven days after posting it, it’s still getting dozens of comments and shares every day. hours.

So I feel compelled to ask, why? What extraordinary revelation did these simple lines catalyze in the minds of social media users? Such mass behaviors by internet users are always very important because they can reveal fundamental truths about our society as a whole.

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Let’s take a look at the most popular or meaningful comments on the post: “A long time ago, I was an international student in Japan. Twice my camera “disappeared” and it made me sick to know that probably one of my classmates [foreign] the students took it, but she didn’t have the courage to give it back when I asked around.

Another said: “Was walking down a semi-deserted street in Kanda [Tokyo] around 3 p.m. Saturday. Women on bikes noticed were not clutching or carrying their bags defensively like in the United States. This is how our world should be,” wrote another.

Sometimes this “strange” Japanese behavior can lead to hilarious misunderstandings, like the person next door.

“What does this tell us about a society where humans behave like crows? »

“When we visited Japan, we saw a lot of things left by people, so we would take the items to station attendants or shop owners because we wanted to help get them back to the owners. We didn’t know it was good to leave things behind when a person went to the bathroom for example [you can’t leave a laptop here unattended for seconds as it’d be stolen]. Now we know there’s nothing wrong with letting things go for a few minutes. But that would never happen here, the bike would be stolen and then broken, the groceries thrown away or eaten.

And let’s take a look at the following two comments which are somehow related. “Be aware of the crows though. They are not like humans, they fly,” wrote someone familiar with Japan.

“I’ve heard similar things. But doesn’t that say more about our own countries than it does about Japan? Why did we ‘accept’ that in our own country flying is ‘normal’ and respect for good of others is exceptional?As a European, I can often only feel shame.

Right. What does this tell us about a society where humans behave like crows? That is to say by pure instinct and without any other concern than immediate self-satisfaction? What makes Japan so different?

A Japanese reader offered his explanation.

“As to why Japan has become such a country, in Japan children themselves clean primary school classrooms and learn the importance of group behavior. Even in school education, we are educates every day not to disturb others.Another reason is that we Japanese people are an agricultural race.Since the birth of civilization over 3,000 years ago, our ancestors have cultivated and had a culture of In other words, collective action requires consideration of others, so the habit of helping others when someone is in trouble is ingrained in our Japanese DNA.

“Most societies seem so used to a basic degree of disruptive social behavior”

One could also add that Japan is a very homogeneous society, and this can increase the level of social trust. But it should also be noted that being an agricultural society cannot explain everything, as other Asian countries until recently were also agricultural societies, but it is difficult to see the same pattern at play.

What we can say with certainty, given the reaction of netizens to my message, is that people yearn for this type of “Eden” society. They crave such a safe environment. But they seem to have given in to the idea that man’s nature must be selfish, corrupt and immoral.

The case of Japan demonstrates the opposite. Although there are other countries, or small regions within these countries, where this is also true, we can certainly say that they are the exception and not the rule. And it goes without saying that there are also minor cases of crime in Japan.

But what we can conclude is that the vast majority of people want to emulate honest behavior when they see it. There is something unique about humanity that yearns for good and moral action.

Most societies seem to be so used to a fundamental degree of disruptive social behavior that no one thinks there is anything to fix. Except when they go to Japan and realize that leaving something behind without caring should be the norm, not the exception.

*The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official editorial position of UCA News.

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