It’s taken me several days to write this. I’ve already read so many blogs who so eloquently issued their plea for support. Words have failed me. The horror and tragedy of all that has transpired has left me huddled into a ball of uselessness.
I didn’t grow up in Japan, my only connection to that country being my mother who grew up there. As a selfish child, I resented having to spend so many weeks of my precious summers away from my friends in a country where I barely understood what was being said. As a young adult, the resentment turned to yearning for the country, the food, and the people, my family as I begged my parents to take me back to Japan.
Somehow, my tenuous connection to Japan via my mother became my own connection to the country. My own relationship with my family there. It’s the reason why it’s been so hard for me to put down into words and into action what I needed to do to support Japan. Why it’s still so hard.
The internet is a powerful thing. It’s brought me fabulous news [my cousins posted on Facebook that they were ok!], to horrifying news [earthquake, followed by tsunami, followed by Nuclear disasters], to depressing news [UCLA student’s rant, people believing that this was karma because of Pearl Harbor]. It’s taken me a lot of prayerful consideration to finally be at peace to deal with all the negativity from this past week and to focus on the positives.
I could not be more proud of the Japanese people’s dignity. One friend posted up on his Facebook page describing the long, long orderly line of patient people as it wrapped around the block into Shibuya Station while my cousin mentioned how impressed he was by the fact that in spite of the long lines every where, people were so respectful of each other, bowing and saying, “After you”. I would hate for this to happen in Los Angeles, but if it should, I hope that we would have half the restraint, calm, order and patience that has been displayed in Japan.
More importantly, I hope that the call to arms to assist those in need the most would be offered. Neighbor helping neighbor. Idealistic, I know.
What can you do to help? Donate time, money, goods to these organizations: