Thursday, February 17, 2011

Won't Miss #289 - "shikataganai" (the bad)

The flip-side to the good aspects of "shikataganai" thinking (translated into "it can't be helped") is that sometimes people give up easily in situations in which their lot in life could be improved if they made an effort, sometimes just a small one. Since people rarely fight for what is their right or what is morally right, things rarely improve or change in Japan. This underlying cultural concept is a piece of what drives the slow change in Japan and allows workers to constantly be taken advantage of in terms of unpaid overtime and unfair distribution of duties.

It is the equivalent of a shoulder shrug in the face of certain types of adversity, and I won't miss it, particularly when it is expected of me when I am treated unfairly.