We live every day, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in affluence and convenient surroundings. Why don't we feel happier now than in the past? In today's society, economy takes top priority. Even in our everyday lives, there is a tendency to regard economic affluence as a measure of happiness. The society of distribution economy uselessly arouses human desires and is full of things that can satisfy the material desires of individuals. Surely, our lives seem to have become better off in a material sense. However, have human beings, which were originally "social living things," become capable of feeling true happiness just by being materially well off?
We, the Yamada Bee Farm, have lived for more than half a century together with honeybees, which are called social insects. You probably know that honeybees make up societies in their beehives. Do you think that each honeybee can live alone only if sufficient food such as honey is provided? As a matter of fact, honeybees cannot live alone. They cannot live without the bond of the swarm (society). That is, they can only live by working as a member of a community of honeybees cooperating with other honeybees in a natural environment of flowers that are in symbiosis. Human beings are the same, aren't they? Also, in the world of human beings, families and people in the region once worked together in an agricultural society. Each member of the family was needed to lead a life together with Mother Earth and could feel "happiness" in life. However, when the structure of the agricultural society collapsed in the process of transition to an economic society, humans appear to have also lost true "happiness." We are probably not alone when we think that our warm humane society will sooner or later collapse if nothing is done to remedy the situation.
An economic society in which competition and efficiency are most valued has cast a dark shadow over the realm of education. Children who were judged by a uniform measure and forced into useless competitions, though inherently more unique and multi-talented, have grown up with the conviction that it is quite natural to lead others even at the sacrifice of colleagues, without learning the importance of living together by helping one another. The confusion in education and incidents that recently occurred in the world of children may have occurred just as they were bound to.
Therefore, we want to have a place to discuss educational problems with our readers. With the help of experts in a variety of fields, we want to have an opportunity to squarely think about what overreaching issues adults should address for the benefit of children and what to teach children. We want you to read our discussions and give us your frank opinions.