When I tell people that I don't have a TV at home, they react in two ways: (a) they ask me why and what I do in my spare time; or (b) they back away cautiously as though I were a psychopath. Actually, I've always been a bit shy about why I don't have a TV at home, but funnily enough, it's vaguely connected with this proverb.
I grew up at the foot of Mt. Yatsugatake in Yamanashi, and this was because my father trained at a riding center there while preparing to represent Japan in the 1976 Montreal Olympics.
Representing Japan is no easy task, and it took up much of my father's time and energy. And he was a man who wasn't content to just do what was expected of him. He always wanted to do more.
That's why, from as long as I remember, he filled his house with people from his riding club. My father was generous. He put his work before anything, and he was always inviting his students and colleagues home. He also expected me to play the cheerful host.
This meant I didn't get a chance to speak to him one-on-one, and on the rare occasions we were alone, he would mostly just switch on the TV. After a while I began to resent this. He never asked me how school went or what I'd been doing. He never seemed to take an interest.
I took it out on the TV. I thought it was stealing my father from me, and that's one of the reasons I don't have a TV in my house now. Even now, at my parents' place, when my father switches on the TV during dinner, I feel twinges of the old anger. But I laugh them off, pick up the remote control, and just switch off the TV.
Just imagine, though, if I hadn't directed my frustration at the TV. I mean, I know I've turned out to be a great bully with the remote control, but it could have been worse. I could have arrived at age 16 with crimson hair, 1,000 piercings and a criminal record of self-pitying poetry. I might also have been mutilating cats.
OK, so I shouldn't joke about these things, but what's important is that if you want your kids to turn out to socially adjusted, kind, caring and charifable people who don't rage at innocentelectronic appliances then you should keep in mind: Charity begins at home.
Q1 Why did Kana hate the TV when she was young?
A1) Because the shows in Yamanashi were boring.
A2) Because Kana's dad would always decide which channel to watch.
A3) Because Kana felt it was stealing the attention of her dad from her.
正解： A3) Because Kana felt it was stealing the attention of her dad from her.
Q2 How did Kana not turn out to be a crimson-haired, cat-mutilating 16 year old?
A1) By focusing her anger at the TV.
A2) By beating her dad.
A3) By riding horses.