When I was a child, my father yelled at me for having “Rose Colored Glasses.” He said, I didn’t see the world for how it really is. Since learning that the fire that was coming out of my eyes was in fact the beginnings of the flu, most of this week has been spent either sleeping or sitting comatose in front of the t.v. After watching t.v. this week one could say he could be right.
However, my glasses, probably warped from the heat of the fever, still remain on their perch. This week the Japanese people’s reaction to their tragedy has impressed me. Some of their actions, like the lack of looting, show the immaturity in our culture. I say immaturity because whenever I am frustrated with the way our culture handles situations I remind myself, our country is (if we go back to the signing of the Declaration of Independence) only 235 years old. The Japanese culture has been around, according to Wikipedia since 30,000 B.C. Of course this isn’t true of all Americans, but the highly visible population that take the fend for ourselves option severely mask the goodness of others. Good does happen here, we have to focus hard to see it.
Another comment made about the culture is from observations of people returning to the rubble. Apparently they are going through the rubble looking for anything that is salvagable and displaying it in a place, where the owner should they return be able to collect what little belongings did survive. Then, they are sweeping the rubble to make the streets more passable. A psychologist (please don’t ask a name, I was watching CNN) commented that even though these people have nothing to return to, that going back even though their home is a pile of rubble is comforting. Because life has been so irrevocably altered, the rubble is familiar. It may be rubble, but it’s mine.
Even back then using my rosey eyed perspective, I knew in my gut Dad was wrong. What he didn’t realize, is the world that I see in my heart is a world that exists with the passing of time. What happened in Japan breaks my heart. Yet, it encourages me. Life may not be perfect, but it has a way of showing it’s beauty. Hopefully, we all will learn from this. And, I mean more than disaster relief techniques. ( Although I am going to buy water bottles and ramen) I am teaching myself to be like those people who returned to the rubble. They responded to the tragedy with love and care for others. Hopefully, should I be in their shoes people will be able to say the same about me.
and p.s. Since that yelling, Dad does try to wear my shaded spectacles every once in awhile. When he does, he’s a lot happier. Just sayin.