Sunday, February 11, 2007

Mr.Honda - 30 yrs ago

A Talented Hawk Should Show Its Talons 1977

A book titled “Hoist Our Sails to take Advantage of Our Strengths,” published in June 1977:

Mr. Honda’s book, “Hoist Our Sails to take Advantage of Our Strengths,” published in 1977, is a new edition of the book of the same name published in 1967. This is an essay in which Mr. Honda insisted talented people should bring out their abilities to the fullest extent. Beginning this year, participation in TT racing resumed.

There are many different types of people. There are people who were born with outstanding talents and abilities. There are people who acquired talents through education or their own efforts. In contrast, there are people who do not have such gifts or talents, but who try to look as if they do. It takes a lot of effort and special skills to accurately evaluate and distinguish these different types of people from a large number of people. However, in Japan, there is an old saying that “a talented hawk hides its talons.”

This was an appeal to the public in the era when the cultural level of people was extremely low, so modesty was made to be a virtue. The trouble is that this thought is still highly regarded and emphasized. In other words, people who have excellent abilities are cautioned not to demonstrate such abilities, and those who don’t demonstrate true abilities are highly regarded. I am having a difficult time understanding why this old saying has been conveyed as if it is convincing. If the person rarely demonstrates the abilities, we don’t even know if the person actually has them. A person should be highly regarded only when his/her abilities are demonstrated and results are delivered. A person should not be highly regarded while he/she is still hiding the talons.

Moreover, holding back on your true ability does not work in this era of speed when things are constantly advancing. Precious abilities will be a useless possession. I am thinking this old saying should be deported from Japan. Instead, I want to insist on “talented hawks do not hide their talons.” In other words, we need to express ourselves saying, “This is how I think.” I want you to express yourself proudly – whether you are a hawk or a dove. I think there are kites or crows in addition to hawks and doves, and there is nothing wrong being a kite or a crow.

In this way, you can do a respectable job and feel your contribution to society only when you can completely understand and express your own individual qualities. Moreover, this strong confidence in your work will lead to your pride.

As long as we live, we will always be beset with various desires. We want to have money and pride. We want love. And we want to be healthy. In that sense, pursuing profit does not satisfy us completely. I am enjoying my life because I have a job that I am proud of. Thieves or swindlers obviously cannot be proud of their job, and thus have no fun.

Everybody is not a hawk. Kites and crows can also do some good depending on how they work. But that is possible only when we declare ourselves kites or crows. As long as we declare who we are, people should let us work in the way we can use our capabilities to the maximum.

In this world, there is nothing completely useless. Even rocks on the riverside become useful as concrete when they are mixed with cement. However, a diamond could be treated as a piece of glass or a rock on the riverside if it follows the concept of “a talented hawk hides its talons” or “silence is golden,” and does not assert itself. Such a non-assertive diamond will end up being buried in concrete. That is asking a little too much if you want to receive a good evaluation while remaining silent.

In other words, it is a virtue in the present day to clearly express one’s opinions and to efficiently provide data which effectively makes one’s value understood.

What will happen if young people keep silent? You must know the answers based on what I have been saying so far. In the area of politics, for instance, if people keep silent and display no reactions, we will not be able to tell if it is good or bad. The same holds for a company. Good company management is possible only by listening to the opinions of employees. A talented hawk not hiding its talons has a major positive impact in all senses.

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