By：Ryoji Tatsuno, Chairperson, Japan Career Development Association
(From the JCDA Conference in Commemoration of Reaching 10,000 Members held in May 2012)
The structure of any society is based on the principle of "living in harmony with others". This is not a slogan, but a natural state of society rooted in human nature.
"Living in harmony with others" does not exclude competition. Competition is the driving force that enables us to overcome difficulties and acquire skills and abilities. However, any competition to beat others eventually creates a strain in society, and the winner also has to bear the burden of the strain.
What we all want is to "be accepted,” and what we do not want is to "be excluded." If you accept others, you will be accepted by others. If you exclude others, you will be excluded from others. “Living in harmony with others" is premised on accepting others and being accepted by others.
In the heart of each of us, we have hidden "unacceptable" selves, such as the self we dislike and the self we don't want to admit that it exist . However, such "selves" also want to be accepted. The other people whom you have found it difficult to accept may be the reflections of your “unacceptable" self” shown up on them. Thus, embracing your “unacceptable" selves will allow you to accept others whom you found difficult to accept. As with the structure of a society, "living in harmony with others" is also a basic principle for individuals to observe.
People, money, and information are transmitted across borders to various people in various countries. Various social activities, including economic activities, are not completed in a single country. We are now living in an era in which Japan is "living in harmony with“ Asian countries and "living in harmony with" the rest of the world, supporting and accepting each other.
The era we live in has also been the one where young generation made up the majority of the population, where people believed that achieving a higher social status and income and realizing a life of abundance surrounded by material goods would guarantee happiness. However, in today’s Japan, 23% of the population is 65 years old or older, and almost one out of every four citizens is in this age segment. We are about to enter a super-aged society in the immediate future. (Note: These figures were as of 2012. The percentage of this population segment reached 29.1%, or about one in three citizens, in 2022.)
In any country where security is maintained, and advanced medical care is provided and food security has become less of a concern to its citizens, that country, not just Japan, will eventually follow the path to becoming an aging society. As a result, the country’s social welfare expenses will increase, which may make it impossible to maintain the high productivity the country boasted in the past.
We would like to realize a society where people can "live in harmony with others" by embracing new systems and lifestyles that will enable us to live happily in this super-aging society, which no other country in the world has ever experienced before.
What is career counseling? We believe that it is a way to achieve a society in which we can “Live in harmony with Others.”