‘What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.’ ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Recent events in Japan have touched a raw nerve across the world. Nuclear meltdowns. Collapsed buildings. Traumatic images of waves crashing through towns and flattening the hopes of thousands are seared into our collective consciousness. Watching this catastrophe unfold makes my heart skip a beat. A few beats. When I am glued to my television screen I can’t help but be reminded of a central theme running through life. A theme one cannot escape, however hard we try: We are all fragile.
Our human experience comes with many wonderful gifts; Joy. Love. Creativity. Yet we also have to deal with inevitable tragedy, pain and suffering. When faced with catastrophe on the scale of Japan’s current plight abiding questions get asked… How does a nation recover from such tragedy? How does an individual rise from the ashes of calamity on such a biblical scale?
Well, it seems that studying the measured and courageous response of the Japanese people is a good way to find the answer. Why is it that during difficult times the best in humanity often surfaces? Why is it that in these moments of tragedy people share themselves with others, when in normal moments we seem to walk through each other exacerbating our disconnected feelings? I believe that these tragedies remind us that our innate humanness is to connect. To love. To help. To embrace and to hope.
The Japanese earthquake and tsunami teach us many important lessons. In the face of this reminder that Mother Nature is the true power behind the curtain, we realize that each moment is all we have. This is it. Right now. We realize we really all are one. We realize that the good soul and nature of humanity is alive and well.
What lies within us is what feeds us and those around us. What lies within us is what fuels us. What lies within us is what connects us. The people of Japan are showing us all what it means to be resolute. To be courageous. To love. To share. To hope. To rise above the ashes. To be human.