It has been over three weeks since the earthquake that started this disastrous period in Japan. And it appears that it won't be over for some time. It is likely that eventually it will grow weak in our memories except for those that are living it and worried about their loved ones. Isn't that the American way to move on to the next big news bite?
Starting with an earthquake on March 11 followed by a tsunami and then an extended nuclear reactor catastrophe life hasn't been so precarious and precious for the Japanese since WWII. This time our country is not inflicting war damage but is providing help and succor for our friends.
My thoughts have turned to two Japanese students that we had in our home a few years ago for Christmas. My nephew and his family are in Japan as well and their family dreams of a home and job teeter on the edge with all the destruction and concern with the damaged nuclear reactors.
It seems that all we work for can so quickly be lost, devalued or put into its proper perspective very quickly. It seems nothing clarifies our priorities like a disaster.
The Japanese have been such a great example of calm and patience with their lot. They have been kind to each other and working together for good. As Americans we have that capability as well but we also have the violent and harmful selfishness that leads to chaos and anarchy when we have a disaster. Peacekeepers even become warmongers and gangs become even more violent as looting and selfish destruction accompanies what nature throws our way as we learned with Katrina in New Orleans. Our human potential for good is so high and can be countered with our capacity for ill.
I remember back to 1982 when I was returning home from my mission in Thailand. Me and my fellow missionary returnees were on our way home to the U.S.A. After nearly two years in Thailand living in their culture and being missionaries it was almost incomprehensible to return to our homeland of wealth and privilege. After being asked the question, "Is America a real place?" at least a hundred times while serving as a missionary it seemed somehow unfair to come home to so much. We connected with our flight in Japan for my only experience in that country. With the current troubles there it has made the short stop somehow become more memorable. As if giving me a connection to the country and its people.
Let not our hearts forget them even though we feel safe and protected here in our homeland.