Saturday, March 19, 2011

Our Brother's Keeper?

The following excerpt from an AP article got me thinking....

{KARAKUWA, Japan – There may be no water, no power and no cell phone reception in this tsunami-struck town, but in the school that serves as a shelter, there are sizzling pans of fat, pink shrimp.

Relief supplies have only trickled into the long strip of northeast Japan demolished by a powerful earthquake and the wave it unleashed a week ago, leaving affected communities to fend for themselves.

Many have risen to the occasion.

No water for the toilets? No problem. Students in Karakuwa bring buckets of water from the school swimming pool to give survivors the dignity of a proper flush. In the kitchen, a giant rice cooker given to the school by a resident sits on a table, steam rising from the heaping mounds of rice inside.

"For a long time, in the countryside, even if you didn't have enough for yourself, you shared with others," said Noriko Sasaki, 63, as she sat on the ground outside another relief center in the town. "That is our culture. Even if they're not relatives, we feel as if they're sisters and brothers."}

A Sense of Community...that is the part that got me thinking along with the fact that people are not complaining, they are not angry or sitting helplessly by and waiting and excepting someone else to fix everything. I also loved the quoted woman who said, For a long time, in the countryside, even if you didn't have enough for yourself, you shared with others... that is our culture. Even if they are not relatives, we feel as if they're our sisters and brothers." I think this is something learned over centuries, not just something that happened spontaneously this week.

I have so much respect for that, don't you? God Bless America, is all I can say. All I have been able to think about since I read this is the contrast between Japan's response and the footage of the looting, etc. in New Orleans after Katrina. I had the image of that one young guy etched in my mind...pushing a shopping cart full of new VCR's in boxes stolen from a store front. My thought was how odd...who even uses a VCR anymore? And why do you think they are yours for the taking? And who even has electricity here for that matter? Somehow he thought he has something to gain in someone else's misfortune.

I also remember all the blaming that went on, How it must be Bush's fault, since when do Presidents cause hurricanes I wondered? And who can forget the demands for everything including their rights for FEMA trailers, etc. The last thing people need in natural disasters like this, is humans making it worse.

And I have thought about how in our church we store food for emergencies. The thoughts about how that food and those supplies would be used is a curious one in this country. People have said to people that do prepare, "How will you protect your storage in the event of an emergency?

Do you know what I think would happen in a case like that? I think that the food and supplies would be taken to a central area and used to feed the"5,000." And it would not be kept just for "our own." It would be shared in the community because we too think of others, relatives or not, as our brothers and sisters.

Of course, it is not a perfect world and not everyone would want to do this, but I think the majority would, under local leadership requests. This is a hard concept in America, where the 'me first attitude' is prevalent. But I think we would be asked to do it and would, in most cases. Coming together and sharing the supplies would ease the burden of all and I think it would also increase the blessings to all.

Surrendering these stores for the good of all, would also eliminate or greatly lessen our chances of being harmed while someone took it away from us by force or at gunpoint. We all know they could and probably would! Some would think it foolish to give it willing to the cause, but I think it is living the higher law. It is what the Savior would have us do. It is what He would do.

And that is why my respect was heightened today for the people of Japan and why I pray we will all take the lesson to heart and learn from it. He that hath eyes to see, let him see, etc.... Any other way would not bring any lasting comfort or peace to anyone. In the end doing what is right always brings blessings back to the place or people where that good originated.


Sister Susie said...

It is such a shame that it takes disasters for mankind to pull together and act out of love for one another! I've noticed this time and again as I'm reading through I & II Chronicles. It took GOD'S wrath upon the sin of Judah/Israel before they would recognize their sin and repent, upon which the blessings of the LORD became bountiful! I'm praying that this calamity will bring about the bountiful salvation of many. This is the only sense I can make out of such devastation.

GOD will be praised!
In love,

Deanna said...

Big difference in cultures. I think sometimes the people of U.S. feel entitled to be helped when disaster strikes our country. Our church has sent water and bagged dry food which I sometimes wonder if they will receive it all all. Everyday a shipment goes to the airport and we can only pray that it will be of some help.

Bonnie, I remember the time of Katrina and dad was here with the Texas State Guard. I didn't like seeing my father holding a weapon but they guarded those displaced people over at Camp Bullis like hawks. I do remember very vividly, the looting that took place over in Louisiana. What do they think of themselves has to wonder.

I remember in 1970 when we had an F5 tornado hit Lubbock...I was seven years old and I remember to this day, Mayor Granberry putting the city on a tight curfew and that the city police had orders to shoot looters on sight. No looting occurred. Everyone and everything was kept safe.

There are definitely lessons to be learned from this. I don't think this is the last of natural disasters that we will see.


Caroline Craven said...

I have had some of the same thoughts as you on this. I was telling Kent and Trevor that I bet we don't see the looting in Japan like we did after Katrina. We are also not seeing people just sitting around waiting for someone else to be responsible for them, like we did in the aftermath of Katrina. Understandably, the victims of Katrina needed help, but I was appauled at the level of entitlement I saw. You have to hand it to the people of Japan - they know how to act in their own behalf and for the benefit of others rather than just expecting someone else to be responsible for their welfare.

Marie said...

One has to respect and admire the dignity and repose of the Japanese at this time. We have food storage as well, as you know and I think you are right. We will be asked to share it with others should the need arise. It is what the Saviour would do. Have a wonderful Sabbath. xxoo