11 March 2011

Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

Photo by Reuters
I've been watching CNN coverage of today's 8.9 earthquake off the coast of Japan and the ensuing tsunami since around 5 this morning.  It's the kind of thing that reminds me of our shared frailties and fears, our universal needs for safety and peace.  It's also the kind of thing that should shame those whose lives are spent in a constant power grab for higher profits, but of course those kinds of people only look at a situation like this and worry what it will do to their investment portfolio.

I'm always curious when something like this occurs, how many people affected were drunk or high for the first time; having sex; signing divorce papers; finding out they're pregnant; being arrested; proposing marriage to a lover...any of those common activities that people around the world do on a daily basis.  How must it be to be mentally or emotionally compromised at a time like that; to be in the midst of a something that would be considered a major event for people anyway, and then to have it entirely eclipsed by this kind of disaster.

It's heartbreaking to see this footage, and I'm always concerned whenever I see someone react to it coldly or dismissively.
"There, but for the grace of God, go I."
Even if you're for whatever reason unconcerned about those who are affected by this kind of destruction, can't you at least muster some gratitude for not being among them?  Are we really that desensitized to these kinds of things?  In just the last decade, we Americans have endured the man made atrocities of 9/11 and the natural disaster of Hurricane Katrina.  We've seen our own people perish and the agonizing aftermath; surely we're not still living in a bubble of obliviousness?

I know that I was fairly oblivious to these kinds of events as a kid, but I have to say that I don't recall this many major events taking place all in succession like they've been occurring in recent years.  Two of the five most powerful earthquakes on record since 1900 have taken place in the last six years: the one on 26 December 2004 that decimated southeast Asia, and the one off the coast of Japan today.  Surely, that's alarming by any measuring stick, right?

I seriously doubt anyone in Japan will ever read this blog post or care what I have to say, but on the off chance that someone reads this later I want them to know that I didn't shrug off this disaster as someone else's problem.  My heart goes out to you and yours.

No comments:

Post a Comment