With the Tokyo Olympics just around the corner, the year 2020 has passed with a completely different view than previously expected. The Year of the Rat passed in the blink of an eye, and many of us may have entered the Year of the Ox without any clear understanding of this turbulent and muted world.
In a recent conversation with my friend, I learned that the ancient Greeks had several different ways of understanding “time”. The first is Chronos, which is the measure of time we usually live in. It flows in a linear fashion and is “time that moves slowly and mechanically, even if we don’t understand its meaning and purpose”. In contrast, Kairos, which is a meaningful time that is captured by human sensitivity and subjectivity, such as a moment that inevitably occurred, or a moment that is unforgettable.
2020, people around the world were asked to refrain from unnecessary outing. It was difficult to meet people, travel, or see plays, and this Kairos seemed to be remarkably less.
What this has revealed is that, most of the pastimes we’ve been asked to refrain from doing during this period, is THE one that makes our life meaningful and humane. Indeed, nothing was unnecessary.
Looking back on history and art, sometimes hardships and sorrows have been the soil for the creation of masterpieces. In this sense, we can think that current era has the potential similar to the Renaissance and Edo culture that creative diversity blossomed after the war era. If we think in this way, don’t you think that our future is worth living?
May the year 2021 be a healthy and compassionate one for those who have lost family, relatives, and friends due to COVID-19, etc.. I also pray for people who cannot meet their loved ones for immediate liberation from the difficult times. I would also like to express my solidarity to those who are facing economic difficulties forced to endure with no way out in sight.
I sincerely hope that 2021 will be a wonderful year for all of you, including the celebrations that should supposed to happen in the previous year.
We, the members of AGI, will strive to the creation of a meaningful time for everyone.
We look forward to seeing you again this year.