Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | The Sunday Guardian | October 04, 2015
Toyota, a Japanese motor company, has been functioning for the last thirty years without a single day ever having been wasted, and without its production ever once having slackened. This is one of the many examples which explain the fast development of industries in Japan. General Motors and the Ford Motor Company of the U.S.A. are the biggest motor manufacturing companies in the world. The annual production of these motor companies is, on an average, 11 cars per employee, while the Toyota Motor Company annually produces 33 cars per worker.
Considering the non-existence or at least paucity of all the major raw materials of industry in Japan – coal, iron, petroleum, etc. – Japan still manages to surpass all other countries in industrial progress. One might well ask why. A Hindustan Times commentator (25 August 1981) attributes Japan’s success to “A national spirit of compromise and co-operation, and a willingness to endure short-term setbacks for the long-term good of the nation, company or family.”
It is temperament, then, which plays the most crucial role in the making of a nation. It is important in nation-building in the way that bricks are important in any kind of construction work. A house made of unfired bricks is unsafe, because any calamity, even a minor one, can bring it tumbling down. A building, on the other hand, which is made of kiln-fired bricks, can be trusted to withstand the onslaught of tempests and floods.
A character so tempered that it can be depended upon through thick and thin – like the kiln-fired brick – is what builds a nation in the long run. It is only such a temperament which can remain attuned to the more and more complex procedures of industrialization and remain steadfastly geared to national progress.