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独裁者が権力を乱用するのを見る時、私がいつも思い出すラテン語の有名な成句があります。 SIC TRANSIT GLORIA MUNDI 「かくの如く世界の栄光は過ぎ去りぬ」です。独裁君主とて遅かれ早かれいつしか塵となりゆくのだという考えが、私にとってはある種の慰めになっています。人生における全てのものは儚く、名声や権力など単なる虚栄に過ぎず、物質レベルでは全てのものはいつしか無に帰すのです。







          There is a famous phrase in ancient Latin that comes to my mind whenever I see a powerful tyrant abusing power: SIC TRANSIT GLORIA MUNDI (thus passes the glory of this world); for me, the thought that sooner or later that despot will be only dust is a kind of consolation. In this life all things are transient, so fame and power are mere vanity; at the material level, everything comes to nothing.

          Since the dawn of time men knew this, of course; it could be said that what makes us human is precisely this awareness of being ephemeral. This constant fleeting is, however, a result of endless transformation, a necessary process to keep the world always young. The end of a cycle announces the new one. Mankind discovered that the sky was a map of time telling us about death and rebirth; thus, men understood that they had to participate in the renewal of the cosmos. Whether it is around the winter solstice, the spring equinox or any other astronomical point of reference man has always synchronized himself with the rhythm of the universe; I cannot imagine a traditional culture without rites of celebration of a new year; a good person is always hoping for a better era.

          Japan has had a tough and a most painful year, but the courage and commitment of its people has set an example to the whole world. I feel proud of having so many friends in the country of the never setting sun. The notion of the evanescence of life is fresh in everybody’s mind. This is why we have to celebrate this New Year Eve’s, there are good reasons for this; we have to pray for those who left us, but we have to rejoice for being allowed to be here; in these times of so many massive transformations, being alive makes us more responsible for other people and for any other form of life around us.

          I want to express my best wishes for an authentically Happy New Year to all my friends in Japan. So let us enjoy lots of wine and delicious food!

Xavier Betancourt