It has been a month since that dreadful disaster struck northern Japan. Crippled by the nuclear plant that keeps the nation under a pre-emergency situation, the whole (or at least, a half of) Japan remains alert, while seemingly the international communities are keen to discern any new developments that may affect them, and keeping a close eye on us.

The economy will survive, no doubt, but only when underscored by people’s vigor for renaissance. Appearing on TV screens ever so frequently now are the adverts chanting the messages, “Japan is strong, we are a team, we can overcome it, get together.” It is nice, but this type of encouragement doesn’t endure long. (Fabricated nationalism is an illusion after all…)

The one I like is this: “Think what you can do now.”

I am all for the notion that we can contribute to the restoration of the devastated areas and the lives of people who have been displaced, by being sensible and making little savings – electricity in my case, not going mad for a panic-buy, not relaying unfounded rumors about humanitarian crisis, and staying level-headed. Putting up with certain amount of inconveniences caused by the current situation, as well, will help everyone stay calm, unruffled. 

This is all something people in the vicinity of immediate relevance can do. For others, like so many friends of mine who were concerned for the people of Japan – from Argentina, France, Great Britain, Switzerland, Australia, Malaysia, Mongolia, and Italy – they can only pray for us…

No, that’s an understatement. They can pray for us, and that is making a great difference to those people. I believe the act of praying does have its consequences. It is just like the light on the ceiling comes on when you press the switch on the wall.  Without the knowledge of the wiring hidden behind the walls, you may wonder how this is possible that the light comes on. No matter how invisible it is, the connection is there.

There are connections between individuals, whether it is a singular existence of a collective body. When you pray, you have the people in your thought, and that is one end of the connection; the other is at the people over there. Prayer gives strength for life. I believe that.

So, please continue praying for them, for the people who have suffered so much, and help them bring about brighter future. Thank you.


About Dr Kats

a working sociologist/linguist/translator based in Kobe, Japan
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