What would a life be without sunshine or moonlight, without the sound of the wind rushing through the trees, the smell of crisp autumn air, or without the feel of dewy grass brushing our feet? Our environment gives us a source of peace, happiness and relaxation. But what about a life filled with ringing cell phones, angry bosses, tight deadlines and traffic jams? Living with these aggravations causes us stress, anger and chaos, but what are the benefits? Oh, but of course! How could I forget about money! People will go to any lengths for prosperity, even as far as destroying our precious environment. Shinichi Hoshi demonstrates this mania in his short story “He-y, Come on Ou-t!”.
Upon the discovery of the infinite hole, we are first introduced to man’s willingness to sacrifice the Earth’s well-being. A concessionaire claims the hole with a profitable plot in mind and launches a vigorous campaign. “We’ve got a fabulously deep hole! Scientists say it’s at least five thousand meters deep! Perfect for the disposal of such things as waste from nuclear reactors!” (154), he chanted. Since it’s not environmentally safe to dispose of nuclear waste above ground, it must be perfectly harmless to put it in ground, right? I’d hoped that the villagers would object to this ridiculous arrangement, and they did. They balked at the idea until “it was explained that there would be absolutely no above-ground contamination for several thousand years and that they would share in the profits.
Into the bargain, a magnificent road was built from the city to the village” (154). I am sadly disappointed in you, villagers. You are all in the mindset of “Oh, it won’t affect us for awhile, plus we’re getting money and a new road! What could be wrong with that?” Has it not occurred to you that even though you are benefiting from this proposal, that it might be causing harm elsewhere, in serious areas such as the environment? Of course not! As human beings we “dislike thinking about the eventual consequences” (155) and are extremely ambitious, therefore being much too preoccupied with our thoughts of success and growth.
Our society has become so preoccupied with visions of wealth and expansion that we’ve failed to notice the state of our weakening environment. We are “concentrating solely on producing one thing after another” (155), no matter the price the Earth is forced to pay. I have a hard time to believe that such an intelligent species could be so horribly ignorant about such a matter. Although some are aware of the way we are wrecking havoc against our planet, so little being done to protect our earth. We all need to realize that all of our selfish and inconsiderate deeds that we are pressing upon our planet will be back to haunt us. We are sitting in the driver’s seat, chattering away on our cell phones, too engrossed to spot the danger. In the blink of an eye we see the impending collision, but it’s too late. We are all so absorbed with dollar signs that we can’t appreciate Mother Earth’s true value. “The man, however, was gazing in idle reverie at the city’s skyline growing ever more beautiful, and he failed to notice” (155).