Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Why Is There No Looting In Japan?

There was a Tsunami that hit Japan last week if you didn't notice. It was pretty bad. Lots of people died. The country has nearly been destroyed. From what I read and see in the news, its total devastation.
Interesting side note here- there has been little to no looting in the aftermath of the destruction tsunami by the Japanese people. Apparently they have some sort of societal norm of not taking things that aren't theirs in times of emergency and chaos.
I can't recall this being the norm here in the ol' US of A. The first events that come to my mind are Katrina, Andrew and the LA Riots of the 90s. When things go sideways in America- there are typically thousands of opportunists that begin to break into stores and loot anything they can. Usually they are not just taking diapers and water but TVs and clothes and anything else of value they can get for free.
I'm scratching my head this morning trying to figure it out. In the Seattle Times this morning an article describes the Japanese psyche- "One is "shikata ga nai," which roughly translates as "it can't be helped," and is a common reaction to situations beyond one's control. The other is "gaman," considered a virtue. It means to be patient and persevere in the face of suffering."
My Friend Abraham told me that his Japanese father used to say "the tallest blade of grass gets cut".
Not necessarily American ideals, are they?
Currently, America is more like the ideals of Ricky Bobby from Talledega Nights who said "If you're not first, you're last".
I'm no social scientist. I don't think we should become everything Japan is. But I do wonder- why is there no looting in Japan when there is always looting in America?
Listen, I love America. I'm proud to be an American. But I think that there are alot of selfish self serving people in America that have little to no regard for the thoughts, feelings and actions of other people and that's not a good thing. Yes, we can't be all things to all people, but for me, in my sphere of influence, I can choose to be nice to the people around me. I can follow laws and not take what isn't mine. I can try to make someone elses day better by giving a bit of myself.
Think about it next time you're in a situation that seems dire when you think you wont get what you want.
Because here's the bottom line- people live in fear of not getting taken care of so they feel as though they must do it at the expense of others. This is not true. God knows that is going on. Matthew 6:8- "your Father knows what you need before you ask him". Rest in that today.
Don't be a looter. Don't be a person that has to shove to the front of every line. Don't live in fear of not getting yours.
Be blessed
pastor matt

Posted via email from Faith and Victory Church Blog

1 comment:

  1. Coincidentially,I got this from a friend a day or two ago.

    Japan is not Haiti ....

    Here is what to expect in the coming months out of the disaster that has affected Northeast Japan:

    How do I know .... I was living just outside of Kobe when the monstrous jishin (earthquake) hit in January 1995 and virtually destroyed the center of a major Japanese City killing 6,600 people covering a 20 mile swath. I was right in the middle.

    Down the street from where I lived a 7 story apartment building ended up being 4 stories. My next door neighbor died from a collapsed roof.

    When the quake hit, I thought it was a bomb going off.

    Here's what didn't happen:

    There was no looting or breaking into food stores.

    There was no time for trying to blame anyone.

    There was no one cutting in the front of the line to get water.

    There were no calls to lawyers.

    Here is what did happen:

    The people in the Kobe Area were not waiting around for a US Aircraft Carrier.

    The Military was deployed immediately to dig and search.

    The Yakuza (Japanese Mafia) were the early suppliers of medical supplies and food (They had the connections and the means to get the material to the folks.

    Within days Temporary housing was being constructed all over the Area.

    Within days portable showers and toilet facilities were set up all over the Area.

    Within days, supermarkets were opened and the queues stretched endlessly as they could only let a few people in the stores at a time. There was no anger, yelling, blaming, looting, cutting in front.

    Within hours ... clean-up began by everyone .. students, teachers, seniors, yakuza, politicians. Everyone seemed to be contributing in some way.

    As a foreigner, I was treated like everyone else ....


    By the time I left Japan 4 years later, I would say 90 % of the entire City of Kobe had been rebuilt .... and consider that New York has been unable to erect a couple of building at ground zero now going on 10 years.

    So like I said, Japan is not Haiti..... nor New Orleans. They don't need us ... that is not to say they would not be unappreciative of any assistance. Probably the best thing we can do is provide portable medical facilities and staffing if requested and search sniffing dogs.

    Errol Phillips
    American Patriot