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March 9, 2012

It’s almost been a year since the 3/11 tsunami engulfed Japan. Environmental disasters are near impossible to comprehend, especially when they happen on the other side of the world. The horror surrounding them strikes a little closer to home when someone dear to you lives in, or around, the disaster’s parameter.

As the anniversary approaches I am thinking about my Japanese friend and her family. Luckily they were not physically affected by the tsunami. She was however emotionally devastated by the vicious assault. It is her poise, her pride, her handsomely crafted words, sent to me this past Christmas, that I ruminate on now.

“2011 will be the year which we Japanese can never forget…

Since March 11 it seems to me that our conventional sense of value has collapsed and become unstable in Japan. We still have big scars on our hearts and anxieties for our future. But we never forget heartfelt consideration from people all over the world.

Sead and perler bead heart art.
Sead and perler bead heart art.
© 2012, Dana Aubrey

None of us are immune from the displacement caused by an environmental disaster, no matter how ‘first world’ privileged or protected we may be. To be able to exhibit compassion, grace, and gratitude while standing on such unstable ground, is a characteristic I dearly cherish and wish to emulate most about my Japanese friend. Of all the traits embedded in the human heart, it is our capacity to be compassionate that may be the key to stabilizing our future.

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