What is the Greatest Happiness Given to Human Beings?

 It is said that human beings were created in the image of God. 

I think the main reason for this is that we have a high degree of freedom. 

 It is also said that God created the world based on his thoughts. Similarly, we humans have the freedom to create and act, so we create all sorts of things and act in various ways. 

I believe that such freedom is the greatest happiness for human beings. 

Although animals seem to act freely, many of them live under the control by their instincts. 

We humans also have instincts, but unlike animals, we are given the freedom to choose to live according to our instincts or to live for something higher. 

While animals have been living the same way since ancient times, humans have been able to build a civilization based on the wisdom of our ancestors and our ingenuity in life. 

As we deepen our thinking and expand our understanding of things, the scope of our freedom also expands. 

If something is completely out of our range of perception, none of us can move it at will. 

It is only when we recognize and understand an object that we gain the freedom to choose what to do with it. 

As such, we humans have as much freedom as the extent of our perception. 

Some nations have created societies that suppress individual freedom, which may lead to the deprivation of the greatest happiness given to human beings. 

In the era when the status system existed, in the case of Japan, a child born into a samurai family would become a samurai, and a child born into a farming family would become a farmer;there was no other choice. 

There was also a time when you could not freely choose your marriage partner, and your friends had to be of the same status.  

Looking at the past history, it can be said that Japanese people today have a great deal of freedom. 

However, we tend to forget to be grateful for our current circumstances because we tend to focus only on what is lacking and not on the happiness we already have. 

As a counterpart to freedom, there is the concept of equality. 

An equal society is one in which everyone lives equally, no one is left out, no one stands out, and no one falls behind. 

It may seem ideal, but if we try to adapt the whole society to the concept of equality, we will end up with a society that suppresses individual freedom.  

Slogans such as “helping the weak” and “equal society” may sound good, but we must be careful that they do not result in the suppression of individual freedom. 

The fall of the Berlin Wall and the Arab Spring in the Middle East also show that human beings seek freedom and that freedom is the basis of human happiness. 

Freedom is such a precious thing. However, as each of us acts freely, conflicts with others may arise. It can be called a conflict of interest. 

Therefore, in our society, we have established certain rules and regulations that allow us to act freely within their limits.  

In other words, they are promises made in order for us, members of society, to be able to live without harming each other. 

They could be laws, customs, etc. 

Freedom comes with responsibility for its consequences. 

We humans tend to make selfish judgments, and sometimes we hurt and harm others.  

At such times, we need to reflect on ourselves and repent. 

We have the freedom to act and think things, but when we do something that is harmful to others, we need to correct our course. 

We are given the freedom, but at the same time, we are also required to repent, reflect, and correct our course. 

Translated by Kyoko.u