This book is a discussion between a wide variety of subjects, such as money, working styles, markets, cities and regions, between two experts who specialize in money and food. The two are working in completely different fields, but at the root of this is a sense of discomfort in modern society. Japan should be rich in material, but according to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, the number of suicides among elementary, junior high and high school students in 2018 was the highest ever, and it has been increasing for the past 30 years. Why do so many people have no hope for the future?
"Money" professional Kazuhiro Arai asks the new value axis of money and redefines "money" that controls much of our wealth. On the other hand, Mr. Hiroyuki Takahashi, a "food" professional, understands how our community is formed with the region and nature through direct relationships between producers and consumers.
Although the title says "Empathy capital society," it is not a story about "how to make money by using empathy." It is in modern society that happiness does not always await the profits. This book asks the essence of money and capital itself. The measure of money is universal and looks like an immutable thing. However, as you read this book, you will recognize how this society operates on a fixed value axis.
It may be an opportunity for change when you feel it is hard to live. I would like to recommend reading it regardless of generation.
Main points of this book
In modern times, the composition is "make money for consumption." However, if making money itself becomes a goal, it does not lead to true affluence.
If you continue to work at the expense of the present for the future, you will move away from the feeling of being alive. The important thing is to live in the present and to enjoy life that does not go according to your goals.
Empathizing with nature and others in our relationships leads to the richness and happiness of life. It is necessary to reconstruct not all the elements of people, regions and nature, but connections.
What is a sympathetic capital society?
The root cause of various social problems is the inability to make "choices" -Kazuhiro Arai, CEO of eumo Co., Ltd. and founder of Kamakura Investment Management Co., Ltd., thinks so.
It is important to have a choice and to have an environment and ability to choose in order to create a society that can be chosen. In other words, it means that there is diversity in society.
In contrast, "money" is a single indicator. Money stimulated competition, which led to economic growth. However, some people are now suffering from mental illness or suicide by continuing to lose.
In order to change this kind of society, Mr. Arai is trying to create diverse money with the newly launched company eumo, which does not exclude things that cannot be expressed in monetary terms. What we should aim for is a mechanism and society in which each individual can value the value standards that he or she wants to value.
What is money
Hiroyuki Takahashi, CEO of Pocket Marche Co., Ltd., and the founding editor-in-chief of "Tohoku Eating Communications" contrasts the relationship between the countryside and the city. Rural life is a relationship with nature and the local community, and it doesn't go as you want.
On the other hand, in the city, although it does not bother the community, it is difficult to obtain food, clothing and shelter without spending money. People should be able to learn various things from their relationships, but in the way they are involved in the city, they can only learn rationality. Mr. Arai points out that the lack of peace of mind and the feeling of living in this way ultimately contributes to the suffocation of money.
It can be said that money has the characteristic of "dividing" because the relationship is broken when it is solved with money. While it is said that "things that cannot be measured with money are also valuable", the fact that there is a tone in the economy that "things that cannot be measured with money are not worthwhile" is a problem in itself.
Some people call the act of making money "business" and the act of not making money "volunteer", but Mr. Arai thinks that what is good for society should be money in the first place. Money must have been a convenient "means" to intervene in the exchange of things. However, due to the characteristic of being "saved," many people end up aiming for the act of saving money. When money itself is the goal, it goes away from affluence and happiness.
Since money is "noble" with no color or expression, it flows quickly and promotes homogenization. Diversity and uniqueness are ignored in the modern market, and human resources who can homogenize are regarded as excellent. The mechanism that anyone can produce the same thing anywhere excludes diversity.
In reality, individuality is important in both agriculture and the company, and Mr. Arai's opinion is that fans can be created because they are different. Because it's bumpy, I can make up for what the other person lacks, and vice versa. And that also leads to a sense of purpose.
Second person death
The time of life is limited. With that in mind, you want to live for someone.
According to Takahashi, there are three types of death. In the case of my own death, that is, the death of the first person, I cannot recognize myself when I die. Also, third-person deaths such as "someone died in the Palestinian war" are hard to realize, so they are only knowledgeable.
However, when you experience the death of the second person, sadness grows there. Memories with that person will be revived, and you will be conscious of life and death like the front and back of a coin. Takahashi says that this feeling is meaningful. It is questionable whether even if we discuss infinite economic growth without feeling such emotions, it will lead to human happiness. It is because we have a connection with people that we really feel it.
What realizes a sympathetic capital society
Mr. Arai created "eumo," a money that emphasizes relationships, because of concerns that "money is weakening relationships." If people tend to aim to save money, the idea is to prevent them from saving as individuals and instead allow the community to supply what they need, when they need it. As a result of designing money based on the desired society, money was born that cannot be saved and cannot be used without meeting people. Regardless of the list price, based on the intention of "I want to pay this much", I will pay the money as a thank you. Then, a relationship will be spun with the producer.
When making new money, it is often compared with existing payment services and payment apps, and often asked about its economic benefits. However, the value axis of eumo is separate from economic merit and rationality. Mr. Arai's aim is to create encounters with people.
According to Takahashi, empathy starts with "knowing." People are scared because they don't know. Experiences and experiences enrich life. The producers think about themselves and the rice fields and themselves and the sea, and are aware that food comes from nature. So they can't be a stranger to the destruction of the environment.
The important thing is to regain the feeling of being connected to nature. Under these circumstances, eumo was designed as a tool for establishing relationships. To enable a "shift from consumer to consumer" rather than "consuming" money.
Once in a while
If consumers are the ones who live on the "points" that focus on their own profits, the producers live while thinking about their role in the "face", including their ancestors, grandchildren, and nature. --Mr. Takahashi thinks so. A person who knows what he is living for and is living for someone is strong. People living in the city can often learn from these producers.
Japan's postwar way of life was at the expense of the present for future growth. When I was poor, I was able to eat full. But now they are all full. Young people can no longer feel the reality of living because they are being sacrificed for some purpose, even though there is no good reason to sacrifice it anymore.
The current keyword in the 100-year life is "live now." Staying alone in a room and eating what you want is not enough. Life is enriched through relationships with nature and others. From Mr. Arai's point of view, the Japanese are too obsessed with "perfect stimulation." I try to schedule it perfectly and I can't enjoy what I don't like. Mr. Arai thinks that it is due to the Japanese people's habit of hating risk, and that habit can be changed.
Life doesn't go the way you want
Mr. Takahashi is interested in the question "Please tell me what to do" that appears in the question and answer session during the lecture. In modern times, there is no model answer that says, "This will be the case." In the end, you have to think for yourself.
Even if you set a goal, if the reality deviates from the schedule, only pain will remain. Living cherishing the present is all connected in the end. For example, when you look back at a certain point in your life, you can talk as much as you want. However, this is not the case, and as a result of living so hard at that time, it may happen that there is a chance.
When the purpose is to produce results, the logic of eliminating troublesome things that cannot be made efficient and eliminating uncertainty works. But no two in nature are the same. It's unnatural to exclude clunky things like the market as non-standard.
Mr. Takahashi expresses what humans can do by what AI cannot do. "Imagine what I can do by deciding my current position comprehensively in my personal relationships and in the area, and create it."
Now that we are in an internet society, producers and consumers can connect directly. Mr. Takahashi's Pocket Marche offers a small number of items and irregular items depending on the relationship of trust between producers and consumers.
According to Mr. Arai, there is no perfect human being. Therefore, if you look only at yourself, you will find only defects and it will be difficult for you to be happy. However, if you focus on the actions and movements that occur between people, you will be able to do things that you cannot do yourself. And empathy is also born from "ma".
"Capital" and happiness
What is happiness
Arai says that strong empathy comes from respecting each other. Such a relationship did not exist in the conventional "buy, sell". When you become closely involved in the lives of others and feel the joys and sorrows of others as your own, you will be able to empathize with nature and others, and eventually you will be happy. To that end, all the elements of people, regions, and nature are important.
The rural areas are next to nature, and the division of labor community is clear, so social capital is abundant. While many feel that the local community is shackled, they are beginning to realize that this unsuccessful relationship is the source of their well-being.
Takahashi points out that it is important for people who have moved to the city to choose a role that is not fixed or coerced when they return to a society that they once abandoned. It is necessary to rebuild relationships as connections, not seniority or vested interests.
Send from Japan
Japan is a country with many natural disasters. That is why the spirit of symbiosis and mutual assistance was born. Mr. Arai explains that it is significant to send a sympathetic capital society to the world because it is a country that lives with nature that cannot be controlled. If we can convey to the world how everyone can live with excitement and purpose, they should be able to recognize the importance of Japanese methods.
"Empathy" is the key to creating a new society. Mr. Arai hopes that more people will create their own social system instead of waiting for a solution for each other.
Recommendation of reading
After all, the story of money is an opportunity to think about affluence and happiness. This book will help change the reader's axis of value and create a world where people can live happily.