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Learn From The Japanese

While the country is still grappling to come to terms with the recent disasters, Japan still has to contend with over 1,000 of aftershocks. That is not my point, I received this email from a friend and I think we all need to ask "would we have reacted the same way in the face of a disaster or a major natural mishap". Every single country needs to ask that question, and to be honest, not many would be able to emulate how the Japanese faced adversity of the mightiest force.

Though they were open to start the "blame game" on everything and everyone, that was surprisingly mild. I know if it was in the US, a hundred and one names and institutions would have been blamed directly / indirectly for the occurence.

There was minimal panic for groceries, unlike the mad stampede in parts of China ... for salt!

Why? Why do we react differently? Is it our upbringing? We may not need to follow each and every attribute but take from each what is lacking in us, and keep asking why. Are we instilling the right values, the right priorities, the right sense of fortitude and belief through our government, as parents and as friends.

Where did the "calm" come from? How did the "suffering with dignity" aspect come about?

Not a single visual of chest-beating or wild grief. Sorrow and introspection
have been elevated.

Disciplined queues for water and groceries. Not a rough
word or a crude gesture.

The incredible architects, for instance. Buildings swayed but
didn’t fall.

People bought only what they needed for the present, so
everybody could get something.

No looting in shops. No honking and no overtaking on the

Fifty workers stayed back to pump sea water in the N-
reactors. How will they ever be repaid?

Restaurants cut prices. An unguarded ATM is left alone. The
strong cared for the weak.

The old and the children, everyone knew exactly what to do.
And they did just that.

They showed magnificent restraint in the bulletins. No silly
reporters. Only calm and professional journalism minus the sensationalism.

When the power went off in a store, people put things back
on the shelves and left quietly. That's Japan .


clk said…
That's why in contrast the US is a litigious society. Blame=litigations=$ for lawyers.

Blame, blame, blame, its always someone else fault, never ours!
clearwater said…
There was once an ex-PM who extolled Malaysians to look East and emulate the Japanese but he was later found to have multiple standards and to indulge in selective memory loss whenever it suited him. His look East policy floundered but for the one remaining practice of locally assembling obsolete model Japanese cars while maintaining exorbitant taxes on imported cars. Malaysians now look heavenwards, not East or West, for inspiration.
Ooi Beng Hooi said…
I think thoughtfulness and respect are the root of all these virtues.
brian.wong said…
Start from the basic, learn how to bow!
zaxh said…
I could not imagine if the catastrophy happened in Malaysia. Its beyond my imaginative mind because it will be so so bad and I refuse to think about it.

Not in denial just shocking! :P
UncleWong said…
For a better sense of how Japan responded, go to the url bellow and read their translated tweets, very touching reflections can be found.

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