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Courage and calm in the face of disaster

Updated on February 25, 2012


Courage in the face of adversity

The images are horrific, ominous, surreal, painful and extremely tragic. There are no words to express the true magnitude of the tragedy that has occurred in Japan in the past few days. The people of Japan are trying to deal with the aftermath of three significant disasters starting with the most powerful earthquake in its history registering an incomprehensible 9.1 on the Richter scale followed by an unforgiving and relentless stream of tsunami waves that swept up homes, car, trucks, boats, power lines and complete villages as if they were part of a kid's play set. The death toll from the tsunamis are in excess of 2,500 and that is rising as officials enter into areas that were at the epicenter. And if this was not enough the people of Japan are now facing the very real threat of a nuclear meltdown and possible nuclear fallout.

It seems that disasters are nature's way of reshaping the landscape but it is incredibly tragic when you see the tremendous loss of life and extensive property damage that results. It's happened time and time again in all parts of the world and without warning for the most part. Usually people are carrying on with their lives as usual when these tragic occurrences seem to come out of nowhere and you then realize how powerful nature is and how vulnerable people truly are. They stand no match to the destructive forces of nature.

It is incredibly numbing and shocking seeing the devastation and hearing the sad and painful stories relayed by the survivors who lost a loved one to the powers of nature. Mothers clenching tightly to their children for as long as they can but being overpowered by the unforgiving forces of the tsunamis instantly sweeping them apart from each other. It makes you realize how precious and unpredictable life is.

As I see the news reports I am incredibly touched by the courage, stoicism, unity and inner strength the Japanese people display in the face of these disasters. They are conducting themselves with calm and are very courageous and extremely resilient. Most of these people have lost a loved one, their homes, their possessions and they are now hungry, tired, worried, anxious and uncertain of their future. I just don't understand why these tragedies have to occur and why their has to be so much pain and suffering in the world. I believe it is times like this when we all have to try to do something to help others in need and certainly the people of Japan who are hurting need our support and our goodwill.

We can touch a life and certainly be touched by a life and we as human beings can feel empathy and reach out to those who truly need a hand and I believe we are better for the good we do unto others. Random acts of kindness is what makes the world a better place. All the pain and suffering will be there but if we can bring a smile to the face of one person by an act of kindness then we have done something worthwhile and though we may never see it, in our hearts we will come to know it.

My prayers are with all who have suffered in these tragic disasters and my hope is that they will gain the courage, insight and strength to go on and to feel love and support from family, friends and those who are far away who reached out their hands to help in some small way. May the people of Japan heal and find the courage to face the days, weeks, months and years ahead. May you be guided by the love and support of others and in knowing that your faith will help you through this incredibly sad time.

Edward D. Iannielli III


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