Simple Gestures

I didn’t think there was much point in writing a post about the earthquake. Everything you need to know is already out there in horrific detail. But I will say this: the people here are to be admired. From the architects who design the skyscrapers in Tokyo to first year elementary school children, everybody knows what they should do. People help each other out. People get on with business as usual. The traffic lights in my town went out and a few of the locals took it upon themselves to go out and keep things safe by directing the traffic. A simple gesture. A small gesture. A gesture that wouldn’t have crossed my mind.


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16 Responses to Simple Gestures

  1. Alexis says:

    We are lucky to be in Japan. No other country could have dealt with such a big disaster like Japan did.

  2. JimR says:

    Indeed. I have been watching the news (safe here in Yamaguchi, far from the catastrophe) and the image that will stay with me longest is the huge horde of (hundreds of? thousands of?) people outside Shibuya station, trapped in the city far from their families, in the cold, no doubt full of fear…lining up calmly to wait for buses to take them away. No cops demanding order, no one directing the flow of people, just peaceful people, making sure everyone gets on the bus, taking a little bit of care of each other.

    Be safe everyone.

  3. Lisa says:

    Excellent post.
    I’m glad to hear more of the positive things being witnessed in the midst of all the horror. A gesture I wouldn’t have thought of either, but am glad to know there were some who not only thought it, but went through with it. ^^


  4. robert says:

    I too am flabbergasted by the calmness and level-headedness with which the Japanese apparently reacted (I’m nowhere near Japan, so it’s based on second- or third-hand impressions).

    Good to know you and your family are safe.

  5. mysonabsalom says:

    Exactly. Very, very well put.

  6. judi(togainunochi) says:

    I watched all day, I grieved all day, but I saw a country stay calm and come together. I admire an entire country.

  7. David says:

    I think you’ve written the best thing I’ve read all day.

  8. Pingback: Hope | Ogijima – 男木島

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  10. alex says:

    I totally agree with you. I wrote about the same thing. I was amazed to see how everyone treated each other in the hours after the incident. It’s been incredibly heart warming to see people help strangers in the face of this total disaster.

  11. Mr. S. says:

    A great culture for the ‘stiff upper lip’ in a disaster, but shite for harm-reduction and improvisation. This nuclear thing is a symptom. It wasn’t planned for to have several quakes and tsunami wipe out the redundancies, so now… ‘どうしましょうか?’ (‘What should we do?) Give me the Japanese for preparation, but when the ship hits the sand give me hard-drinking Soviets to sacrifice their lives to bury Chernobyl in concrete.

  12. M says:

    Guess they don’t need to be taught how to sacrifice their lives for the nation ..(rember your favorite drink )… yeah improvisation is somthing that they are not very good at … but we will know at the end of it how do they fare …..
    anyway improvisation and individual brilliance would only take you so far .. you need institutionalised systemic planning to be reliable
    superheros exist only in movies

  13. Mr. S. says:

    Consider getting some potassium-iodide. My longer explanation is here, and I’ll include a product picture soon:

  14. hopeletters says:

    Many people want to help out, but other than money or being an aid worker, there is another way to help by sending words of support and hope. You can send your message online to school children and emergency workers in Japan via Hope Letters Hope Letters will translate them into Japanese and deliver them to local organizations for posting/broadcasting (when it is practical and effective to do so). Help give hope!

  15. Gurei says:

    In Tokyo myself, Some of my dorm mates were walked home by a Japanese man they met after the quake. They wouldn’t have gotten home without his help.

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