The Business of Life mourns with, and for, the people of Japan.
I was once the reluctant exchange student. To Japan.
I wanted to go to Germany. At sixteen, the prospect of drinking beer openly and freely on a boondoggle of a summer excursion was, needless to say, tempting. But that particular summer, a few nasty bombers blew up some clubs where Americans like to hang-out, and my mom, hip to my ways, made a strategic decision to send me to the Land of Rising Sun. My father, a huge Japanophile, just wished he could hitch a ride…
Did you know you can buy beer there on the sidewalk, in vending machines?
Did you also know, your average 16 year-old American teenager is mistaken for a 22 year-old all the time.
ALL. THE. TIME.
So after initially hating it, I came to embrace Japan.
And then her people and history.
Sure the prospect of having fun (and I did let me tell you) was my mind’s entrée into Japan, it was the catalyst for my growing-up — the moment that you see outside of just you, your needs and wants, and start connecting with the cosmos. Appreciate.
I guess I really started to “see”.
A true “A-ha!” moment at its goofy best, I saw Japan as so full of wonder and possibility:
These people are lovely and kind.
These people worship beauty in the simple.
These people think of others before themselves.
These people “feast with their eyes first, then with the mouth,” as one of my host grand-father once said. Beauty is a valued part of every day action and activity.
These people have great electronics. Oh yeah.
So to wake-up to a Japan torn by quake and tsunami was… heart-breaking. They believed long ago that the islands of Japan rode on the back a giant catfish named Namazu, and when the fish thrashed about, the land shook.
It thrashed today.
I pray for them.
I pray for my lovely host families. I pray for my business school friends from Japan. I hope they are safe. I pray for the people of Japan and the surrounding areas affected.
To help, check out USA Today’s page on “How to help the victims of the Japanese Earthquake,” with links to Red Cross and other organizations that are on-site right now, helping.