Monday, March 28, 2011

The calm after the storm in Japan


I am humbled by the sheer level of the calamity faced by Japan in these past few weeks. Having spent a lot of time helping the victims of the earthquake in Pakistan back in 2005, I can only try and fathom the disaster this nation of respectful and disciplined people have endured. 
I believe that if anyone can overcome such a living nightmare, it is the Japanese. They anticipate multitudes of earthquakes every year and ensure minimal loss of life. As a Pakistani, I am numb to death and disaster because of the fact that this is 95% of the news we see, read, hear everyday. Whether at home or abroad, the media has managed to make a sad tale of the calamities mankind faces. Unfortunately, there is no better way of covering it, making sure those who see it are somewhat sensitive to the needs of the victims. Is it just our lifetime or that of our parents and those before them? I hope that there will be a time when global warming, war and corruption will be a thing of the past. I hope that this happens within my lifetime.
Please give what you can, but be constructive and reasonable. Remember my #1 rule, if you can't help yourself, don't you dare help others. It's what the air hostess will tell you when you board a plane - mask over your face before that of your child or loved one.
This is dedicated to the people of Japan and others who have faced the wrath of nature.





10 things to learn from Japan after Tsunami
1. THE CALM

Not a single visual of chest-beating or wild grief. Sorrow itself has been elevated.


2. THE DIGNITY

Disciplined queues for water and groceries. Not a rough word or a crude gesture.

3. THE ABILITY

The incredible Engineering, for instance. Buildings swayed but didn’t fall.


4. THE GRACE


People bought only what they needed for the present, so everybody could get something.


5. THE ORDER


No looting in shops. No honking and no overtaking on the roads. Just understanding.


6. THE SACRIFICE


Fifty workers stayed back to pump sea water in the N-reactors. How will they ever be repaid?


7. THE TENDERNESS


Restaurants cut prices. An unguarded ATM is left alone. The strong cared for the weak.


8. THE TRAINING


The old and the children, everyone knew exactly what to do. And they did just that.


9. THE MEDIA


They showed magnificent restraint in the bulletins. No silly reporters. Only calm reportage.


10. THE CONSCIENCE


When the power went off in a store, people put things back on the shelves and left quietly!
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