In the words of George Takei (best known perhaps for his role in Star Trek), today “We are all Japanese.” Sometimes this world can seem so vast and we can feel so disconnected from one another. It is such an incredible shame that it is in tragedy like this when we remember that we are not simply an island but we are actually connected through humanity to so many others.
Over the last days I have watched countless hours of footage and read numerous accounts of the terrible aftermath in Japan since the earthquake, tsunami and aftershocks. So many are dealing with unimaginable loss, even loss of children including horrifying accounts of children being ripped from the arms of their parents by the incoming wave. As I sit here in the safety of my own apartment staring at Baby Wells I cannot even begin to fathom what type of heartache these parents are going through. Even allowing myself to feel just a little causes so much distress I can hardly handle it. But as parents I think George Takei’s statement is so true in another way: just as “we are all Japanese” today, we are all parents today.
In thinking what we can do to help there are many much needed donations. CNN has a great list of places you can donate to in order to help, as well as this useful piece.
I also think there is something else and that is to not forget Japan. Even after the worst is over and the news coverage stops, just as it did with New Orleans and Haiti and countless other tragedies, we should remember that these people are still dealing with incredible loss that does not go away easily. It will take years to rebuild Japan and even longer to rebuild the lives of those who have suffered these unfathomable losses. Continuing to think of ways to help and not forgetting that these people are still suffering and that we are connected as humans will go a long way to helping the recovery even after the cameras have gone.