Incredible images. The Tsunami traveling at jet-speed carrying cars, boats like little toys. Houses being swept away. A picture of lush green fields and white-roofed factories become dark brown with all the debris. All in a matter of few hours! Yet, the resilience of the Japanese people seems so unbelievable. The civilized, quiet way to handle such disasters of epic proportions. No looting, no chaos, no “me-first, to hell with you” attitude. You are not there, but your heart sinks just looking at the tragedy.
Someone said that our individual happiness (no matter how healthy and wealthy we are) can not come when others are suffering, at family level, at society level, or at humanity level. Because we are all connected to each other. That is why when such images appear on the screen, we get affected. It churns our inside with uneasiness. The selfish part of us immediately whispers, “will it happen here?” or “I am so lucky I am not there”. There is a sense of comfort and relief by being unaffected. But the uneasiness does not leave you.
President Obama spoke well when he said, such events remind us of one planet and one humanity residing in it, despite our differences and fights. There are many lessons to learn from the Japanese people, who conduct themselves with such dignity and selflessness. We send emails to our Japanese friends and get relieved when they say their families are doing ok in faraway Tokyo.
I have been traveling regularly to Japan since 1983 and I am very intimate with that society and culture. The sense of helping others and community is one of the best I have seen anywhere. Their gentleness and quiet resilience is something the whole world can emulate. And we live in times of such paradox. On one side is Libya and then there is Japan.
Our prayers for the Japanese families affected by such a natural calamity.