Hachi was a Japanese dog who used to accompany his master to the railroad station each morning and then wait at the station to greet him in the evening as he returned . One night in 1925, the man did not return, having died in another city. Although the little dog had met its master only a few months previously, for over 10 years from the day of his master’s death, the dog went to the station every night--sadly trotting home again after waiting an hour.
The faithfulness of Hachi impressed the nation so much that the government erected a statue of the dog on the spot where he had perseveringly waited--and then sent statuettes to all schools in the then Japanese empire. This is a true story.
This story is a testament to the faithfulness and loyalty of a dog. This dog had one master to whom he was devoted. The story goes on to say that after his master died, the dog even stayed and slept in a corner of the station. The workers were so touched that they regularly gave him food and water. Hachi had one duty which he did no matter what. He served an audience of one: his master.
Surely we can learn something from Hachi. Modern ideas teach us to give of ourselves conditionally. We play our part or fulfill our role only of things are pleasant and going our way. We learn to be not only fairweather friends but also fairweather workers, volunteers, and even fairweather parents and spouses as this sort of lack of commitment has infiltrated the realm of marriage and parenthood. When we do so, like Hachi we also serve an audience of one, but the “one” is ourselves.
The noble idea of the “pursuit of happiness” has become a personal selfish end rather than something that we live to ensure for others. Modern society feels the deadly results of such self-centered philosophy. I for one believe that the greatness of a person lies in the power of his surrender, of his surrender to a cause greater than he is, to a cause that requires him to stretch even beyond the narrow confines of his personal comfort. Those kinds of people give themselves to the task at hand being concerned of neither audience or reward. Those are the greats of history that we honor. Like Hachi, they serve just “cause.”
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