Japan’s quake lesson in community

The tragedy in Japan is unimaginable. My – all of our – thoughts and prayers go out to everybody affected by this violent act of nature.

There is one thing that is happening, or not happening, that few are speaking. That is the lack of criminal or selfish behavior during this heinous incident. The people of Japan are behaving as a community rooted in each other. They are helping, not hurting. They are making this tragedy better by not acting in a selfish manner. Or not to put too fine a point on it, they are not acting American.

I know that is not easy to read or even write, for that matter. But when a natural disaster strikes in this country, one of the first things you notice is how Americans are making matters worse by looting, fighting, vandalizing; the list goes on.  That is not occurring in Japan.

One reporter even commented that it would be unthinkable in Japan for such behavior to occur. It would be unthinkable if such behavior didn’t occur here. Just look at what happens after a sports’ team wins a championship. That’s not even something that’s bad. It’s supposed to be good.

But out come the thugs and all hell breaks loose. It’s such a shame. Somebody once said the only thing wrong with America is Americans. I don’t hold to that, but I understand the sentiment.

Japan is teaching the world how to act during a time when, as a community, we need to be on our best behavior. As they say, “the whole world is watching.” Thank God. We should all take note. No question about that.



About stevewhitmore

Former award-winning newspaperman and broadcast journalist, both radio and TV, spanning three decades. Army-trained paralegal, court bailiff and prosecutor's lead investigator for the 8th Infantry Division's Judge Advocate General's Corp., Mainz, Germany. 1973-1975.
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