By now, everyone’s heard about the tragedy in Japan.
I usually don’t look at the news because I find a lot to cry and despair over, or get unnecessarily angry over. So I was kind of late finding out about Japan’s massive earthquake. I did cry, kind of a lot, over the videos of destruction and some of the heartbreaking news coming out of the country.
While a lot of people are being possitive, praying for Japan and wishing them the best, as well as donating, I’ve seen a large population of internet folks saying outlandishly hurtful and ignorant things like “serves them right, pearl harbor” or “PRAYING DOES NOTHING!” A group of nice folks on Gaia started a thread to fold cranes in Japan’s honor, and immediately folks, both trolls and serious folks, started nay-saying, proclaiming folding cranes is completely useless, and well wishing never helped anyone and…. blah. Only the almighty dollar can help anyone now.
First, folks that write off praying and wellwishing as useless seem to assume anyone doing it DOESN’T donate as well. I did contribute to the relief fundraisers, and I’m sure a lot of other folks did.
If folks can’t donate, raising awareness of the situation over there, and sharing condolences is a very compassionate thing to do. Donating time may not have a material effect, but the emotional effect is there.
Well wishing is important on its own. Or else no one would send each other “get well soon” cards when someone is sick, or say “my condolences” when someone loses a loved one or suffers tragedy. No it doesn’t bring back the dead or cure anyone, but neither will money, and the people of Japan are going to need a lot of emotional support while they wait for the relief to work and rebuild. It is also to help us grieve, because a lot of us are very sad about what happened to a whole lot of people. Japan is going to need more than money to heal… it’s going to need time and hope. It will be costly to rebuild, but it’ll need a lot of time and hope too.
Earlier this week, I included a small burnt offering of incense and cranes during one of my rituals. It’s easy to forget my life is pretty friggin’ sweet, and has had few tumultuous times. And my heart, and support when I can spare it, goes out to Japan, Haiti, Egypt and the other countries that are suffering various hardships, where things aren’t safe, or where people are killed or dying.
“The sum of all human wisdom will be contained in these two words: Wait and Hope.” ~Alexandre Dumas in the Count of Monte Cristo.
If you are a user on Gaia like I am, you can buy some doodads for your avatar who’s purchase goes to support relief efforts.