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  For most schools, the summer holidays are drawing to an end. Children are now busy trying to finish the homework set given them for over the summer holiday period. In former times during the summer holidays, children used to be beside themselves with the talk of insects collecting. Nowadays, children have a little spare time to collect and raise insects, or to make specimens of them. Is it that the schoolchildren are too busy on their holiday with study to chase after butterflies and other such insects through the fields? I suppose that enthusiastic insects-chasers are an exceptional breed and limited in number.
This reminds me of the number of times I have seen butterflies lying dead at the bottom of the cages as a result of this hobby. Children's indifference to the fate of insects does not stop there. They often see them just as nuisances and kill them without pity. Children tend to forget that small insects such as crickets and butterflies are still 'living' things, not different from us, human beings, who see ourselves at the top of the evolutionary ladder. Speaking of small living things, I feel I must refer to a stanza of a poem composed by the Buddhist poet, Shinmin Sakamura.
No living thing, after death, can return to life.
We, human beings, must be very kind and careful.
Not to trample even a small insect, such as a cricket to death.
How grateful for that mercy he would be!
How happy and delighted he would be!
Mr. Sakamura valued the cricket's life as highly as that of our own. We should try to share this deep tenderness toward all life with him.
Now let me introduce to you a haiku poem by Issa Kobayashi.
Negaeri wo
Suruzo sikono ke
This haiku can be translated thus: (as Kobayashi lies in bed, he warns a cricket that is by his right side.) "I am going to turn over. Move aside quickly, Cricket, or I'm afraid that I may crush you to death."
Buddha, the founder, Shakyamuni, always preached with special emphasis to the people the preciousness of the life of ever living thing. A great deal of Asia is still rural and many people work on farms, embraced by nature and blessed with its benefits. People as a whole must think more seriously about how dependent we are on the harmony of ecological systems and our co-existence with them for our own survival. And this point takes on more emphasis when considering the regions expanding population. It is desirable to realize that human beings to live and survive under nature's wing, not independent of it. Thinking of this, the line 'not to trample even a small insects, such as a cricket to death' seems to carry more importance, does it not?