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May 01, 2011

今だから響く、司馬遼太郎のメッセージ

Siba


 「21世紀に生きる子供たちへ」『二十一世紀に生きる君たちへ』は司馬遼太郎が初めて子供向けに書いた随筆。大阪書籍「小学国語」に書き下ろしたものである。

 その一節に次のような箇所がある。

 人間は───繰り返すようだが───自然によって生かされてきた。古代でも中世でも自然こそ神々であるとした。このことは、少しも誤っていないのである。歴史の中の人々は、自然をおそれ、その力をあがめ、自分たちの上にあるものとして身をつつしんできた。
 この態度は、近代や現代に入って少しゆらいだ。
 ───人間こそ、いちばんえらい存在だ。
という、思い上がった考えが頭をもたげた。20世紀という現代は、ある意味では、自然へのおそれがうすくなった時代といってもいい。

 同時に、人間は決しておろかではない。思いあがるということとはおよそ逆のことも、あわせ考えた。つまり、私ども人間とは自然の一部にすぎない、というすなおな考えである。
 このことは、古代の賢者も考えたし、また19世紀の医学もそのように考えた。ある意味では、平凡な事実にすぎないこのことを、20世紀の科学は、科学の事実として、人々の前にくりひろげてみせた。
 20世紀末の人間たちは、このことを知ることによって、古代や中世に神をおそれたように、再び自然をおそれるようになった。
 おそらく、自然に対しいばりかえっていた時代は、21世紀に近づくにつれて、終わっていくにちがいない。

 「人間は自分で生きているのではなく、大きな存在によって生かされている。」
と、中世の人々は、ヨーロッパにおいても東洋においても、そのようにへりくだって考えていた。
 この考えは、近代に入ってゆらいだとはいえ、右に述べたように近ごろ再び、人間たちはこのよき思想を取りもどしつつあるように思われる。
 この自然へのすなおな態度こそ、21世紀への希望であり、君たちへの期待でもある。そういうすなおさを君たちが持ち、その気分をひろめてほしいのである。
 そうなれば、21世紀の人間はよりいっそう自然を尊敬することになるだろう。そして、自然の一部である人間どうしについても、前世紀にもまして尊敬しあうようになるのにちがいない。
そのようになることが、君たちへの私の期待でもある。

 
・・・自然に対する奢りはなかったかが、今回の震災と人災で問われている。
 3,11を境に、日本が大きく変わろうとしている。
 その「うねり」の中に、自分がいる。
 ささやかでいいから、その変化に協力していきたい。

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