Everyone who turned on a car radio or TV or the internet today has had to stop and think about Japan today. For me, I love the country and people. It was one of the first parts of the world I travelled to. My sister Leslie lived there for several years after college and our connection to the land of the Rising Sun remains through her ex-husband, my nephew & niece and their family in Japan. In fact, it’s such a big part of our world that when Leslie remarried, it didn’t take long for her new husband to want to experience the country. Today I’m thankful not to hear Osaka and Kyoto mentioned on the news, but am wondering whether the Southern Islands would be mentioned.
You can add to that concerns about dear friends in The Philippines and Hawaii. In fact, a life-long friend of our family has been making me jealous all week with Facebook messages & photos. And friends who live in Hawaii post things routinely that make my eyes green. But today the messages are the kinds that show concern for the unknown.
But today, I am so worried. I remember the worry too. Its all too familiar.
We have dealt with this sort of world crisis too many times. My sister was living close to Kobe when an earthquake struck there. that was early in the morning… her neighbors made sure she got out of the building as they were concerned about aftershocks. And when the massive earthquake and tsunami hit southeast Asia, I worried about friends in that region. When I toured Malaysia a couple of years later, I heard stories of family members being swept away by the tsunami.
One of the risks in our growingly global world is that we know more people in more places. It’s easier to find these sorts of natural disasters inflict a lot of stress and worry. Last year’s vacation could have been threatened by a volcanic eruption that US TV never even mentioned. One could think that living a life of isolation would be better but I refuse to think that way. The more I can connect with people in other places, the more human everywhere else.
And I feel the same outreach of compassion when something goes awry in my world. While the collapse of the World Trade Center was man-made, I immediately heard from friends in many foreign countries (blog post recounting memories) Reminds you that whatever our political differences may be at times, We really are all just people. And today, I’m worried about some of my people. I hope your folks are all fine and I await text messages, emails and phone calls as friends and family begin checking in one at a time. Its going to be another long day.