A thatched-roof farmhouse together with the deep red-orange color of a ripe persimmon tree is an archetypal scene of late autumn in Japan. Such a view makes our country so beautiful and has a unique power of healing with a nostalgic feeling.

I have heard a heartwarming story from a friend of mine. When she was young, one day she tried to pick the last ripe fruit from the small persimmon tree in her garden because she really wanted to eat it. Her mother, who was usually so quiet, suddenly stopped her, saying, “Do not take it, please leave it for the birds.” She reluctantly followed her mother’s advice, but she did not forget her mother’s words for the rest of her life.

Her mother’s remarks ultimately became her way of life. Starting with consideration for birds, eventually it developed into sharing this attitude with the people around her. Now she is going to teach this lesson to her own children.

I am not a bird; however I can imagine how happy birds are to find the last persimmon and taste it since I know the unbelievable deliciousness of ripe persimmons from my own experience. So many times after hearing my friend’s story I have seen birds enjoying eating red-orange persimmons with joyous sounds.

Birds do not have any grocery stores. They have to find their food every day by themselves. Still, they are members of the same spaceship called the Earth. Can we make a peacefully coexistent and sustainable world by putting our small friends into miserable situations and using resources only for ourselves?

We must not forget this fact that not only birds, but also plants, big animals, fellow human beings and many other friends are traveling together in the same spaceship. What is the very basic principle of our living and actions within the same ship? The world leaders must be aware of this and of their great responsibility.

Hiroshi Noro

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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