In my lifetime I can’t remember an earthquake that caused as much damage as the recent one in Japan. The earthquake alone would have been devastating but it was exponentially exacerbated by a tsunami that looked like a scene straight out of an “end of the world” science fiction movie.
As I write this piece there is fear that there could be meltdowns in at least two of Japan’s nuclear reactors and nobody can even guess what the final death toll will be until everybody has been located and accounted for and it could be quite a while before all the missing boats are found and all the rubble is uncovered.
While this would seem all but insurmountable to some nations, the Japanese will dry their tears, roll up their sleeves and get on with the business of putting their country and their lives back together.
The task is daunting and mountainous but the Japanese are an industrious and resilient people who, though they’ve never had to deal with a quake of this magnitude, are no stranger to them.
They are the only country on earth to have overcome having two nuclear bombs dropped on them.
Japan, at the end of World War II, was occupied and bombed out with its economy in shambles and its industry all but non-existent.
In a half century Japan has come from desolation to being one of the leading economies on the planet with a vibrant manufacturing sector and a world leader in the development and marketing of electronics and computer technology.
The Japanese are among the most disciplined people on earth and have an energetic work ethic built into their DNA.
They are also the kind of people who will learn and apply a lot of lessons from the horrible experience they’re going through now.
Although I’m sure they appreciate all the help they can get right now, they will not sit around and wait for other nations to rescue them, Japan will get the job done and I predict that the world at large could learn some lessons from the way the they will go about their cleanup and rebuilding.
As the old saying goes the longest journey begins with the first step and I’d be willing to bet that even now, even before the aftershocks have subsided, before the nuclear power reactors have been dealt with, even before the death toll has been accurately accounted that the Japanese are already taking that first step.
They’ll mourn and bury their dead, pick up the pieces and go to work.
They’ll be back and probably surprise the world how quickly.