Monday, 21 March 2011

I was driving to work on a Friday morning when I first heard of the earthquake that had hit Japan. Later in the day, after a meeting, the attendees of the meeting and I, stood around a giant plasma tv blazing out the most horrific scenes of a slowly unfolding tsunami. At first I was mildly disturbed - the world has experienced a lot of unrest in recent months. Egypt, Tunisia and of course Libya. There has also been the fair share of natural phenomena, from Haiti to the floods in New Zealand earlier this year. I think we've all become slightly numb to disasters in the world in a way. I mean we are empathetic creatures and naturally feel for the people in distress, but we also happily sit there, shrug our shoulders and resign to the fact that we can't do anything to help the situation.

The death toll in Japan has risen to over 18 000 people and continues to rise. In a population of  127 560 000. The number has slowly started to nauseate me more and more. I once attended a university with about 40 000 students. 18 000 people would nearly equate to half of that student body. Or 60 moderately sized high schools. 18 000 people. I am glad that over this weekend, several global powers and nations have taken a stand against the atrocities of Gaddafi and his crazed military. However, what has happened in Japan, also feels like a war. There has been support on Twitter with the tag #prayforJapan and over various initiatives urging people to give financial and material support. If you lost everything you had, including you family right now, you would need the help of others to survive. For once, don't sit there and shrug your shoulders! 

I have a friend that has set up an account on GivenGain projects. He needs 20 people to each donate R100 making the total of R2000 to send to Japan. I encourage all my readers to support it, or other initiatives that are joining hands to help the people of Japan. http://www.givengain.com/cgi-bin/giga.cgi?cmd=donor_project&id=1062#comment-9780
Also I found this cool site that says there is a Japanese legend that for every 1000 paper cranes a person folds, they will be granted 1 wish. Go visit the website, where you can submit a message and/or donate to the cause! Go to: http://www.1000cranes4japan.org/

Today in South Africa, we celebrate Human Rights Day. The day is commemorated with a public holiday. Many, many, many people have fought for what we now take for granted. As we commemorate today, I hope most South Africans have spared a moment of thought to the people fighting for their rights and freedoms in Libya. I also urge my fellow South Africans to spare a moments thought to the people of Japan. They may not have unfairly been deprived of their Human Rights, but they do have a right to be treated with dignity and for the world to help them. 
I leave you with a few pictures I took along the coast of Japan, when I was there a few years ago. Let's be a generation that did something.



Luke Menzel said...

Hey Sid, thanx for posting my link! Didn't even know you had a blog, definitely going to follow your posts. Keep em coming!

I know exactly what you mean when you say we have become "numb" to the events happening around us. I see the stuff on TV happening in real time, yet it feels so distant and unreal.. And that is scary..

Anyhow, thanks for your contribution! You rock!

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