Thursday, March 17, 2011
I don't think a single person that I have spoken with in the past week has come away unaffected by the events unfolding in Japan's north eastern region after the devastating double tap of a 9.0 earthquake and tsunami off the coast of Sendai.
I have had to limit my own access to information and news in an effort to maintain some positivity, some perspective.
I am, by nature, a "doer". I DO things. If I see someone in need, I help. Watching footage from Japan has left me feeling helpless, unable to DO anything, ultimately ineffectual.
The most I could do immediately following the tsunami, was to donate what I could to the Red Cross but that left me feeling so distant, so removed and more like a person who tosses coins to the homeless than a person who builds a home for the homeless.
As the crisis in Japan further unfolds into potential nuclear disaster after the rods in reactor's #3 & #4 are left largely un-cooled, the entire world has become gripped with fear - seemingly frozen in disbelief and developing panic.
In spite of this fear, panic and surrounding tragedy, my heart is lifted by the humanity being shown by people all over Japan and the world. People are coming together to do something MORE, something above and beyond.
The 50 TEPCO employees now referred to as the the Fukushima 50 (#fukushima50 on Twitter) are facing injury, illness and possible death while they scramble to rehabilitate the overheating reactor cores and restore power and cooling systems in order to avert nuclear disaster. These people, these 50 people, out of a world population of over 6 billion, are doing what each of us cannot. Ultimate sacrifices for their people, their country and their planet. My heart soars and sinks at the same time.
At the same time that this massive human tragedy has occurred, there has also been a massive animal tragedy. The video of a dog that wouldn't leave it's injured dog companion in the aftermath of the tsunami, leaves an indelible imprint on an animal-lover's heart. Pets, our beloved animals, are going above and beyond.
Pets - beloved dogs and cats have been killed, injured, abandoned and lost in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami devastated areas of Japan's north east. World Vets are mobilizing to Japan in order to provide veterinary care to these same animals and they need donations to make that rescue & care possible. Vets are going above and beyond.
While all of these selfless people (and even animals) are going above and beyond, we here in North America are surrounded by individuals focused on the panic, on self-preservation and activation based on mis-information and half-truths. Spending hard-earned money snapping up iodized salt and Potassium Iodide pills from profiteers on eBay is insulting in the face of total devastation, ultimate loss and uncertainty in Japan.
It is times such as these, when it is for Humanity to come together, to perform as a Gestalt, to be more than the sum of it's parts. It is times such as these, when Humanity MUST go above and beyond.
Stop glaring at CNN. Stop gobbling up disinformation, half-truths and poor scientific interpretation. Get off the couch and go above and beyond for the people and animals of Japan.
One day, it could be you needing to lean on Humanity's great shoulder.