In a previous article I wrote about humanity’s looming troubles. But as I have said I am optimistic. Here is an inspiring story of a young girl’s special accomplishment -one of many she did – , giving all of us hope.
She was just 22 when she graduates from Mills College in Oakland at the end of the war with japan in 1945. She was fluent in Japanese. (She was also fluent in Russian, English, German, French as well Italian.) She was desperate to reunite with her parents, stranded in the devastated Tokyo, where she had left them just before the war to complete her college in USA. Her father, an immigrant from Russia by way of Austria, was employed as an important pianist in the imperial college of Japan. Beate Sirota managed to get employed as an interpreter in General’s McArthur staff. She, together with two more young lawyers were then assigned by him, to write the new constitution of the defeated Japan!! She, together with the other two, by working day and night, did a brilliant job in a few days, insuring dignity and equality for the Japanese women in the years to come, who previously were treated like hired serfs. Japan which for centuries was a tribal country of warriors full of Shoguns and Samurais and swords cutting regularly each others heads or if felt they slighted, kneeling and opening their belly with a sharp knife! They called the”Honored “act Seppuku. We also know it as Hara-kiri.
Japan now under her new constitution which outlawed war, prospered as a peaceful civilized enterprising nation been in peace now for seventy long years. Beate Serota now Gordon, as a citizen of our country, went ahead to accomplish much in arts and cultural international understanding. She died 1n 2012 worried about peace and women’s rights – for good reason. Recently the current Chieftain in Japan who still considers the previous carnage of the past, as great Glories, tried recently to change her constitution so Japan is able to start wars again! Fortunately his effort was defeated by the now sophisticated citizens of his country. The lessons of the story; a single brilliant and good faith person can make a mind-boggling difference. The second lesson; war is neither necessary nor inevitable. And a third; citizens do not buy foolishness as often as in the past. As about Beate Serota Gordon; she did find her parents alive and well. Herself she lived a long happy and accomplished life with her beloved husband who himself died a few months before she did.
When at home in a quiet moment think about it like I have reflected myself.