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The summer vacation has begun for most schools. Now free from school,
the voices of happy children can be heard around my house. Many mothers complain about their loud voices,but it is quiet natural that every child,free from school,
should feel so light-hearted and joyous. It is more desirable for the mothers to be thinking of something of greater importance than regarding the children's unavoidable noises as annoying.

One evening at the home of Ms.Kimura,for the first time in a long time the whole family had gathered together for dinner. When the meal ended her three sons proposed washing the dishes and clearing the table as their summer-vacation help for their mother.
Two of the sons were in elementary school,one being in the third grade and the other in the sixth grade. The eldest son was a second grader at junior high school.

They had talked about how to lend a hand with the housework during the holidays and decided on doing the dishes and clearing the table.
The mother found the kitchen very tidy and thanked them with a smile.The sons then went to their bedrooms greatly satisfied,but soon to their surprise they heard some noises coming from the direction of the kitchen. They all hurried there to find their mother at work. They worriedly asked her if she still had dishes to do or if they had left something unwashed. She said to them, "Your kind-hearted help has pleased me very much. But cooking or keeping the kitchen clean and tidy is a job of mine,and being deprived of it is depriving me of work. Your father has his own work and yours is to go to school and study. If we,each of us,do our best in our own work,
we'll never fail to be a happy familly." Pausing,she continued, "Be intent on doing admirably what you must do. That's most important for you.For my part,I'll help you with your study by serving you healthy and delicious meals."

Sticking to our own jobs or fulfilling our own duties is easy to say,as you know. But there is a big difference between saying and doing. We often neglect doing what needs to be done on a given occasion. I would like to suggest that we reflect upon this together with our children. I mean,of course,not that they need only to study,but that we should teach them that as school children study is the most important thing for them. Is not that one of the ways to keep them healthy in mind and body during the summer vacation? For they often become unhealthy because of idling their time away during the holidays.

As a family have you enjoyed some sports or activities together? Whether it be jogging,tennis,hiking or the exercises broadcast daily over the radio?
Yuichiro Miura,a famous pro skier,went to Africa with his wife and son to ski down Mt.Kilimanjaro,which is more than 4000 meters high. I hear they safely returned from their skiing holiday. The summer vacation will be a good time fou you to do something with your children. Now it is the summer holidays,why do you not make plans for the vacation and ask them to take part in them too?
Do you not have any plans to make yourself available to your family during the vacation period and show that you are a good father and caring family man? You should not be the type of father who dose nothing but get drunk and for whom television is his most intimate friend while at home.

Mother,always try to be an active and upbeat mother,and you will encourage every other member of your family in their work.
Grandfather and Grandmother,in the Buddhist world even priests that are seventy or eighty years old are called "sniveling children". That means,as you know,
the state of mind by which these elderly priests have attained by ascetic practices is little better than it was when they were very young. Under Buddhist asceticism they are not allowed to feel themselves to be aged. You are "golden-agers",not old people. Show yourselves to be still in your heyday and strong and healthy enough to enjoy walking or travelling with the other members of your family.

Older brothers and sisters,at your age you may want to have your independence from the your other family members,but it must also be a pleasure to spend your time with them. I am sure you have some heart-warming moments that only family can give to you. I know it is none od my business,but I would like to suggest that you make the most of your family and home life. It is they that may be the only port in a storm,to accept you with smiling and tender faces,whatever the situation you are in.
It is natural that all the members' participation in family events should make the soil in which the family is rooted stronger and more fertile.
The summer vacation will be a marvelous opportunity to try this. And I believe that it will save children from developing lazy habits and in concequence ruining their health. Laziness is the enemy of good health!