We do not have cable. My apologies for sharing that fact, again. On the off chance that I have a new reader on board, I needed to repeat that fact right out of the gate. Why? Because, we have not seen the media coverage of the crisis in Japan.
Now, several days after the earthquake, I am stunned. Stunned.
I watched three videos from the tsunami in Japan. These videos are raw. One video is without a narrator. The only sound heard is the literal rushing of water, creaking of buildings and crashing of cars and boats and ships. Ships! The other two videos are from a Japanese news feed; unable to read, speak or understand Japanese, I am unsure what they are saying or what the screen is showing in print. However, some things need no translation.
The language barrier is non existent, as I watch these videos. The voraciousness of Mother Nature’s appetite, as it engulfs entire villages with water, chewing everything in her path, is clearly spoken in the universal language of devastation and destruction.
What are we – as mankind – to do in situations like these? I sit here, comfortable in my home, watching time pass calmly and quietly. I will head out to pick up my youngest within the hour, my husband will return home from work within 90 minutes, and we will all gather at the dinner table for a meal. While my family and I enjoy a freshly prepared meal, millions of people in Japan are experiencing a fifth, sixth, seventh, etc. day of little or no food and water.
The people of Japan are not alone in their current struggles for the simplicities in life, like food and clean water. The world is full of people tattered, beaten and worn by their environment and/or people. And yet, as they suffer, the world turns and excess is found elsewhere. As books, articles and blogs are written about finding a balance in life, the world, itself, is not balanced.
Prior to the earthquake and tsunamis, the world watched as protesters took to the streets in the Middle East and North Africa. When the protests began, hope surged, as voices were being heard without armies of military troops. Change seemed to be taking place before all of our eyes. The protesters felt in control of their future – their destiny. Yes! We can control our future!
Then the earth shook and the water started to rise. Okay. So, maybe we don’t have control. Shortly after the shaking stopped and the water receded, a state of emergency was called in Bahrain, and the nuclear facilities in Japan began facing a possible meltdown.
Half a world away, what are we to do?
Am I the only person who feels a sense of guilt, as I whine about this or that? Am I the only person who feels a sense of guilt, as I sit comfortably and safely within a brick home? Am I the only one person who feels a sense of guilt, spending money on things I don’t need, while others are unable to buy what they do need?
As I drive along a favorite road of mine, I can’t help but notice a large horse – er – well, the large horse was peeing. Further down the road, I noticed a lama chasing two horses along the bank of a small lake. I thought to myself, “These animals are oblivious to what happened in Japan; these animals are oblivious to the unrest in the Middle East and North Africa. And, now I know what people mean when they say, “I have to pee like a race horse.” Sorry. But, I really did have that last thought combined with the previous two thoughts.
Mankind is blessed with many things; but, sometimes I think we were cursed when we were given a conscience. How I would love to be oblivious to the struggles around me. I think I would enjoy frolicking with the animals, alongside a lake or in a large flower covered pasture. Then again, I am not sure I want to give up the sense of connection I feel with the people around me, as well as those abroad. My compassion doesn’t solve the world’s problems. But if everyone – absolutely everyone – in the world showed compassion all at once? Well, I think even Mother Nature would have a hard time battling that force.
It’s not world peace we should visualize, as the bumper sticker suggests. We should visualize global compassion – global consciousness. Or maybe, just take a moment to visualize a large horse peeing. Because right now, in addition to food and water, the world needs some comic relief. As you laugh, you can access Charity Navigator and find a charity to support during Japan’s time of need.