“Find a Place The Cog Fits in”
Today’s story-teller is novelist Shusuke Michio, 35 years old.
The story is about cogs.
Michio is an active novelist now, but he used to be a company employee before he became a novelist. When he was 22 years old and started working for a company, he had a goal.
That is, he wanted to become a worker who can handle any work so that he could run the business even if all of the employees were like him.
That means, he aimed to become a universalist, who can perform office work, sales and computer operation.
Despite the motivation he had, Michio quit his job in less than 10 years and became a writer, who has only one skill.
Although he is far from a universalist, he is satisfied with who he is. Because he has found a place that he can fit in the cogs. (finding a cog (yourself) to fit in is a Japanese expression similar to ‘finding a niche.’)
In general, if you call yourself as a cog in a machine, it can be taken as self-deprecating. But Michio doesn’t dislike the words. Because the cogs wouldn’t be able to operate a complicated work if every cog had been the same shape.
Moreover, each of them is very important since cogs may stop running when one of them breaks down.
Michio describes an office, a family and so forth are just like a collection of cogs. When one of the cogs breaks down or go missing, the other cogs may change their forms or may be replaced to a new one in order to keep them running.
Michio says, “There are only 2 ways of life; you change yourself or find a place to fit in. Just like every cog is important, both of them are the right way. In any case, I don’t want to become a person who refuses to be one of the cogs.”
The NIKKEI 12/18/2009 by Shusuke Michio (novelist)
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