@ I Couldn't Say " I Feel Sorry" 「かわいそうに」という言葉

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Apr 3, 2011 12:53

Lately, I hesitate to say, "I feel sorry", "Kawaiso-ni" in Japanese.

I'm not sure if it's because I have been exposed to other cultures, but it feels like I'm showing pity for the helplessness of others if I say it. Although the Japanese term "kawaiso-ni" seems to show tenderness and sympathy, I feel that the term doesn't show any respect for the dignity of others.

A book written by an American author gives an example of when she was surprised to hear the term "kawaiso-ni" in Japan. She was in a park feeding pigeons. She saw a pigeon that had only one leg, but the pigeon looked very strong and healthy doing the same things as other pigeons. He was hopping about and getting his full share of the food. Yet, all of the women there kept pointing him out to their children and saying, "Kawaiso-ni," ( I feel sorry.)

The thing shocked the author. She wanted to say, "Look, he is strong. He is managing so well."

I actually favor her way of looking at it. No matter what situations people are in, I would like to respect their sense of self-reliance, rather than pity them because of their conditions.

Today, I have seen many scenes on TV of the earthquake victims that have kept trying their best, and are trying to come to their feet. Their strength is really inspiring, and I am genuinely impressed by it.