Some message board commentators were so adamant I expected them to start dueling with a Samurai. Why help the Japanese when they were so brutal to us during the war? Why help those who put barely alive GI’s in a hole and immolated them?
Ah, because it’s the right thing to do, and the war was over 65 years ago and those who participated in the crimes against out GI’s are probably long gone.
I was in the waiting room of the doctor’s office watching the scenes of the tsunami, and I was so shocked watching people’s homes wash away, I cried. Though part it seemed so surreal I couldn’t imagine what it must have been like.
But in the end we learn. We learn that while we can’t control the course of nature, we can control how we choose our energy sources, and nuclear energy with all its potential for danger and radiation ain’t it.
Maybe we also learn, like the man rescued from the sea after two days of floating on the roof of his house, that being prepared for a disaster is not completely possible. But more than that, I now know something that I’ve always suspected, that underneath it all maybe we’re not that different from one other. Maybe underneath all the surface differences of race, religion, creed and culture, maybe we really are all the same and have the same fears of loss and loneliness and hunger, and the same need for recognition and love.
We can also marvel from the Japanese sense of order because they are a respectful society and believe in working together. Miraculously, not one store has been looted as shop owners handed out cell phone chargers, water and other necessary supplies. In the United States, it would be a miracle if one store remained standing. And it’s all because we are a privileged people with that me first, Westward Ho mentality. Add uneducated and entitled to the mix and a tsunami here would spell disaster and the ultimate collapse of our civilization by the average noodle walking along the street. It’s a pity, too because we were once such a great nation, though those days may be long gone.
On the other hand and maybe as a beacon of light, we can commend ourselves and those countries that sent aid and have shown that we really are one community after all.