Reflections on Nagasaki 


What, to you, is the greatest distance in the whole wide world?

A wise man once said that the farthest possible distance is the distance between the mind and the heart - between thinking and feeling. However, while this does hold true, it seems even more true in our world today that there is an even greater distance than this; that is, the distance between the heart and the hands. Simply put, it is not enough to know and to feel, but we must do something productive as well.

Unfortunately, in our present world, we tend to stop at knowing and internalizing. We forget to translate our ideas and desires into concrete actions that could help bring peace to our world.

As we toured Nagasaki, we got to interact with the different victims of the atomic bomb. We heard their stories, saw their condition, imagined their sufferings and felt their pain. And now, as we look back on how they touched our minds and hearts, we realize how important it is more than ever to see how we can touch the lives of other people through concrete actions. We see the need to act upon these past experiences and establish cooperation and unity, instead of war and violence.

In our whole stay in Japan, we saw that one possible way to build peace among nations and prevent suffering is to establish a good sense of communication. With the Shin - Eiken Teacher's Association of promoting the English language as a means for achieving peace, we see how this vision is possible. Secondly, we, the youth, realize how we can act to promote peace by undertaking campaigns, or using media to catch the attention of our fellow youth.

Maybe then - when we have finally learned to think, feel and act - the distance between the mind, the heart and the hands, may be the shortest distance after all.

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