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Character builds the Nation

Toyota, a Japanese motor company, has been functioning for the last thirty years [now 60 years] without a single day ever having been wasted, and without its production ever once having slackened. This is only one of the many examples which explain the fast development of industry in Japan. General Motors and the Ford Motor Company of the USA are the biggest motor manufacturing companies in the world. The annual production of these motor companies is, on an average, 11 cars per employee, while Toyota Motor Company annually produces 33 cars per worker.

Try not to become a man of success but a man of value. Albert Einstein

Considering the non-existence or at least paucity of all the major raw materials of industry in Japan – coal, iron, petroleum etc. – Japan still manages to surpass all other countries in industrial progress. A Hindustan Times commentator (1981) attributes Japan’s success to “A national spirit of compromise and cooperation, and a willingness to endure short-term setbacks for the long-term good of the nation, company or family.”

It is temperament then which plays the most crucial role in the making of a nation. It is important in nation-building in the way that bricks are important in any kind of construction work. A house made of unfired bricks is unsafe, because any calamity, even a minor one, can bring it tumbling down. A building, on the other hand, which is made of kiln-fired bricks can be trusted to withstand the onslaught of tempests and floods.

A character so tempered that it can be depended upon through thick and thin – like the kiln-fired brick – is what in the long run builds a nation, for it is only such a temperament which can remain attuned to the more and more complex procedures of industrialization and remain steadfastly geared to national progress.

(Author: Waheed-ud-Din Khan, Translated by: Dr. Farida Khanam)

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Think about it!

Compare the temperament of your nation with the Japanese nation in a realistic manner. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of your nation as compared to the Japanese character mentioned in this article.

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