Devastation, Heartbreak in Japan
When we visited Japan last Summer, Ursula and I were struck by the warmth and generosity of our hosts. Any time it was obvious that I didn’t know the right thing to do and needed help (which was often!), someone always stepped forward to help me. Everywhere we went, things worked as they should and people did their jobs to the best of their abilities. If at any point something was not going according to plan, there were great apologies and efforts to put things right. Returning to the States, the quality of service for just about everything seemed to pale in comparison. Stories of how, even while fleeing a tsunami, cars were stopping at traffic lights and taking their turn, spoke volumes about the Japanese culture as I experienced it.
Reports of over 10,000 deaths following the earthquake last week are heartbreaking, as is the amount of destruction across the country that continues this week. For a country and culture so accustomed to order and structure, having solid walls turn to liquid around them in an instant must have been a reality-shattering experience, as it would be for anyone. At the same time, no country was more prepared for this. The thirty seconds of warning they had was enough to save thousands of lives thanks to the seriousness with which they undertook their emergency planning. But the recovery will take months and years.
Coming to Japan’s aid now will do more than pay into the great karma pool. While that, along with compassion for fellow humans, is reason enough, I can give you an even more selfish reason. We live in a fragile world. If a similar disaster hit us, we would probably fare even worse. We would wish for assistance from other countries. I know Japan will remember our generosity during this time and that they will be there for us in our hour of need as well. So give generously. I know they’re good for it.
Also, be careful of fundraising scams.
Here is one article that lists reputable organizations that could use your donations.