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Appreciate past hardship

Sazo Idemitsu
"Isn't it nice to think of the past? When I look back to my 20's, those were some good years. I wish I could go back to those years, don't you?"

"No, I don't. I was sick to my back tooth. You see, the conditions at Idemitsu, until into my 70's, were so hellish. Dying seemed to be the only way out. I endured that for 50 years. I am not prepared to go through such hard times for a second time. No, I don't want to go back to my younger days."

I have been through real tough times, maybe tougher than dying.
Yet, after I passed my 80th year, I can appreciate the hardships of those years.
I don't think that there is anyone else more fortunate than me for the life that I have had.
Now in my 80's, I can earnestly say that,
"I've lived a wonderful life. I went through so many hardships, but they were good."

Now, with hardship, all it takes is to say "Wow, that was hard."
A day or an hour now is a very long span of time.
And there is a big difference between being able spend that long period of one hour saying, "Ahh, that was nice," and having to say, "I wish I hadn't done that bad deed."

Which is happier?
You see, happiness in life lies in old age.
To be able to say that there is no one else happier than myself, means that you are appreciating the hardships of your past.
That is life.

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