In the previous sermon, you taught us that the true nature of the god of poverty is a type of evil spirit that causes suicides following the failure of businesses, for example, but I wonder whether the ‘god’ known as the god of poverty actually exists? In addition, please reveal to us the secrets of how to detect the god of poverty properly and how to achieve prosperity through faith.
The God of Poverty’s Spiritual Presence Causes Economic Misery
I think that the issue is whether or not one can apply the word ‘god’ to the god of poverty. In Japan, a ‘god’ is traditionally considered to possess powers that are divinely spiritual and supernatural, which surpasses that of ordinary mortals. Evil gods exist, and even devils possess great power. There are gods that become the gods of curses. With regard to superpowers that surpass mortal powers, the term the ‘god’ of poverty have become a well-worn phrase in Japan, I will follow this usage.
Of course, those gods commit evil deeds, and they’re unfit to be referred to as ‘gods’. ‘Hoodoo’ is a catchall term for some presence that causes illnesses or other various manifestations of evil.
The god of poverty is primarily associated with the economy. If land, for example, is haunted, a company established on that land will certainly fail, or if a shop is built on it, then the store will definitely shut down. Perhaps the original owner from the previous generation, or from the generation before that one, or from any past generation, was the person whose business failed and who then died, he might have become the haunting spirit bound to that location.
It’s estimated that many places exist where the people who settled there haunted the locations one by one and caused the businesses to fail. That sort of thing occurs repeatedly at those kinds of places. Then again, there are cases where businesses are in decline because spirits with some kind of spiritual connection have been haunting them.
If the God of Poverty Haunts a Business, That Business Tends to Fail
Management basically entails ‘decision-making’. Decision-making, when whittled down to its bare essentials, is a case of choosing between two alternatives. It is a choice between left and right. So, one has to decide individually what the right course of action is, and managers make such decisions one after another on a daily basis.
Looking at the big picture, decisions affecting a company’s fortunes are made once a year or once in several years. I think that less significant decisions are made on a daily basis, but the effects of all of these decisions are seen in a company’s performance.
While he was alive, Konosuke Matsushita would seem to hire people during interviews that were, generally speaking, lucky. When he asked the interviewees whether they were lucky, he was actually questioning himself on whether or not he should make a hiring decision. Those people, who didn’t know that piece of information, might have answered, “I’m not a lucky person”. However, he was all about hiring people who had good luck.
If many ‘lucky’ people get hired, then the company will prosper, but if many ‘unlucky’ people are hired, then the company will go into decline. Mr. Matsushita was well aware of this truth. Because that’s how it is, ‘unlucky’ people tend to make bad decisions one after the other.
If one were wondering what happens when the god of poverty haunts a company, economically speaking, managers make decisions that prevent the company from achieving success.
For example, starting a business that should not be started, or hiring a person for publicity who should not be hired. By way of illustration, if you were to build a factory overseas, the factory might be deliberately built in a place where a war would subsequently break out.
Furthermore, there are times when there is a desire to sell something and many production lines are built with the intention to sell, which actually break down in the process and then nothing can be sold. There are people who don’t know when to quit.
Many instances exist when high volumes are sold up to a certain point in time, but a sudden breakdown will occur that means that nothing gets sold. Nevertheless, as long as the breakdown doesn’t coincide with the sales peak, the company can somehow ride it out.
Surely that kind of thing has happened a lot in the past. Take the boom in bowling, for instance. There was a time when even a bowling alley made big profits. You understand that sooner or later there comes a time when even this business reaches its saturation point and then it becomes unprofitable. Nevertheless, there will always be some people who do sideline work, convinced that because everyone likes to go bowling, there’s no excuse for not giving it a go. However, their ventures will collapse later in the season.
Case in point, once upon a time everyone used to visit coffee shops to play space invaders. But you won’t find space invaders in any coffee shop nowadays.
The peak will surely come. You can’t misread it when it does. Even things that are popular right now have the definite potential to remain popular long after the peak has come and gone. I think that the downward trend must be beat.
Leftist and Environmental Movements Impoverish the Nation and Its Companies
There are even cases when banks, haunted by the god of poverty, make loans that look like a great deal of bad debt.
Speaking of which, the stock prices for the banks in Japan are too low now, and it has become Japan’s biggest problem. In short, this is because the banks’ assets are extremely small. Since the stock price equates to ‘the share price x the number of shares issued’, the banks can endure their bad debt depending on the amount of assets they have. When the banks think they don’t wish to put out bad loans, they don’t lend anything at all to risky companies. On that account, post-earthquake recovery in Japan has been delayed, and new investments have also been extremely sluggish.
Therefore, it’s no good if the banks rid themselves of the god of poverty, and then find themselves powerless. The type of person that is not good at making money is himself a mainstay of the government, but I think this person has the tendency of being haunted by the god of poverty.
Now the people, haunted by the god of poverty, have been politically leaning to the left. They have been becoming anti-nationals; they have been destroying their countries and eroding its authority. These days, you can refer to them as ‘subversives’.
In a way these people are selfish, delinquent boys and girls. Many people, who have already become adults, remain with the awareness levels of boys and girls, and they continue to be defiant to authorities. Those people, who are incapable of constructive thoughts, end up getting old and seem to fall into similar kinds of positions in society.
Right now (April 2012 with the Democratic Party in power), the government is implementing austerity measures, and it seems to me that it’s highly probable our country’s administration is going to become poorer.
The left wing movement is currently transforming itself into an environmental movement intent on curbing CO2 emissions. Also referred to as an ‘eco’ movement, it is often labelled as a push to protect nature and the animals. However, I think that the campaign will lead to increased pressures on people’s lifestyles as a result of it.
If decision-making is left to those who basically believe that development and prosperity are beneficial, then it’s possible to decide on a good course of action. However, if it’s left to people who subconsciously think that development and prosperity are evil, then if pushed, I’d say that money won’t be made and that the country, just like a company, will fall into decline.
Even if a company president says that he would like the company’s business to develop and prosper, but thinks in his heart that his company’s products are inferior and cannot be sold, then no development will occur in reality. He must believe with all sincerity that his company can make and sell products of good quality. It’s important for him to think that it’s a good thing for the company to develop by making products of the finest quality.
Affirming Development and Prosperity and Getting Into the Mindset of Gaining Happiness Through Effort
If you’re wondering what you should do to prevent yourself from being haunted by the god of poverty, you should acquire a sense of values where you believe that development and prosperity are good things, and that an excellent life involves development, prosperity, and service for the benefit of other people. If you acquire an appreciation for these kinds of values, your affinity with the god of poverty will start to fade away, and it’ll depart from you.
However, if you think that the reason you have no money is because the world is a bad place, society is cruel, your parents were no good, or so-and-so was a bad person, then the god of poverty will usually begin to make its presence felt.
You’ll be able to come up with any number of excuses as to why you’ve been unsuccessful. For example, you may claim that it all boiled down to your lack of education, your cruel parents, a slumpy economy, or the loss of your job. Yet, success can appear in many guises. Since you can find successful people anywhere, it’s a case of having a different mental attitude.
For example, there are also people who think that they could have been a success if they’d only entered such-and-such a company, and they haven’t been successful since they didn’t join that company. However, in reality, that’s not the truth.
In the case of two trading companies that actually achieve almost identical sales, there are people who actually fail the entrance exam for one trading company, join the rival trading company, and become the president. This doesn’t mean that the people are not capable; they are absolutely able to perform reasonably well. Still, people like that fail entrance examinations.
That may be fate, but, in short, it’s difficult to discern talented people from ordinary people. In reality, there are some recruiters, over half of them, who end their careers as ordinary employees. That’s the way of the world.
So, in order to avoid being overcome by whatever reality presents, you must ask yourself what you, as an individual, can do.
I believe it’s important to keep thinking about how to build a bright future for society, by creation of development and prosperity. The god of poverty stays away from people who continually think about these values.
Furthermore, it is important to have the ‘virtue of diligence’. If you can diligently embrace an effort, and you have the mind-set of ‘gaining happiness through such an effort’, then the god of poverty won’t visit you. If you believe that happiness can be derived from effort itself, and that being diligent every day will bring you happiness at work, then you’ll be able to become the opposite of god of poverty, which is a god of wealth.