Not one of us can save the world, but with group effort, we can make a difference. The Japanese are enduring the earthquake disaster with dignity and perseverance. Even the smallest donation will help feed a person, mend a home, re-establish electrical power or supply a hospital. To be part of the rebirth, consider making a donation to Red Cross.
Text REDCROSS to 90999 or click on this link to go to the Red Cross Website.
There's a sort of emotional "cushion" when a disaster of this scale happens on the other side of the globe. Mentally you know it's awful and you feel a great deal of empathy for everyone involved, but you're spared the most gut-wrenching anguish because it doesn't touch you personally.
I don't have that luxury this time.
My first husband's second duty station was Misawa Air Base, in northern Japan. We lived there for almost five years. That headline photograph we've been seeing so often, the one with the bridge spanning ships laying on their sides on top of the debris that was once a town? That photograph was taken in Hachinohe, the nearest "big city" to Misawa. I've been there many times. We bought Joy's first teddy bear at the Nagasakiya Department Store there. There used to be an art store in "Hatch" that had a funny little signboard hanging outside: it was an oversize artist's palette decorated with tubes of paint on which the colors had been written in English. Two of the tubes said "Led" and "Brue."
So - there you have it. I have witnessed that these are real people, people like you and me and our next-door neighbors. They have senses of humor. They love their spouses and their children and their pets, hate weeding and being packed into the subway. Wednesday morning they thought they had problems: that big committee presentation, the gas bill, homework. Now they're looking for food, clothing, shelter and their missing loved ones.
Probably two of the most universal concepts we parents try to instill in our young are the concepts of "share" and "play nicely." Please help - however you can.