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Learning From a Japanese Comic, Ushijima the Loan Shark:What “Loneliness” Makes Humans Do?


Mr. Ushijima is one of the most famous and beloved protagonists, whom I personally like very much. This comic describes the awful and scary black market, yes it’s still in high demand. Although many people are aware that borrowing money from this market is really dangerous and never a good idea, they have no choice but to borrow money due to personal financial limitations. If they aren’t able to borrow money in a legitimate and secure way, then they rely on loan sharks or the black market traders.


There are many famous quotes based on the protagonist’s lines, but here, I wish to focus only on the following quote, “Guys (customers) whom we (loan sharks) deal with, are people who can’t endure “loneliness”. Some lonely people seek different means or ways to dissolve the sad feelings of loneliness quickly. But remember, “we can’t cherish what we can get easily.”


I feel the meaning of the quote is that when people feel lonely or if they are too weak, they have a tendency to rely on things that may provide momentary happiness such as alcohol, drugs, gambling, or buying excessive and unnecessary, expensive items. They have a tendency to become alcoholics, gamblers, addicts or shopaholics even without the money and resources to sustain these expensive activities. So, why would someone fall into such a tragic cycle. These vices provide “temporary ecstasy” or “thrilling feelings of joy” that makes them forget their loneliness and miserable feelings for a moment.


Generally speaking, “money” is everything in this world, but it is really difficult to earn. Borrowing money, even from loan sharks, seems to be the easiest way to get money so addicts can spend it to get rid of their negative, dark emotions, and satisfy their strong desires momentarily.


As Mr. Ushijima said, “we can’t cherish what we easily get, or something we didn’t work hard for.” People who borrow money, tend to spend it easily without a second thought and don’t cherish its value. Then, as all addicts do, they immediately regret their decision and fall into depression that needs another “fix.” And that is it – they are caught in a web of regrets and unable to stop the downward spiral.


On the flip side, people who work hard for their hard-earned money, such as minimum wage earners working in tough or bad environments, definitely understand – to their core – how valuable money is because they work so hard for it.  Going through hard times and experiencing challenges alters their views, priorities and values. These experiences will make their mindset strong, and also provide them with wisdom – they live wisely and think deeply on their decisions, especially when it involves money.


Now, this mindset that’s earned through experiencing hard work doesn’t only change someone’s view on money, it also influences everything else a person’s life and thought process. Relationships, study, work, everything else that needs a lot of time and effort will be affected. The more we work hard for things, the more we value and take care of them. There’s never an easy way out, and hard work is always the key.