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Creative Japanese will bounce back

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The little I’ve heard and read of the Japanese tells me that they are a people who have had to endure millennia of earthquakes and tsunamis. Over a lengthy span of time they seem to have learned from countless tragedies such as this recent one. These enormously resourceful people have adapted their culture to flourish in a region made prone to earthquakes by the blind, directionless forces of nature acting below their feet. The Japanese practise building techniques that often enable them to quite effectively persevere against unstoppable geological forces.

I would guess that had the powerful 9.0 earthquake not been followed by a tsunami, the death toll would have been far less when compared to an earthquake of similar force in any other nation. Sadly, however, there is only so much humanity, with all our science, technology and money, can do to suppress the raw, unstoppable power of heat and pressure beneath the earth and large, heaving masses of water. I’ve heard some of my fellow Trinidadians utter the utter drivel about end-time’s catastrophes, denying God and redemptive prayers, essentially saying that the Japanese are the hapless victims of a vengeful, petty God who feels slighted by their rejection of him. These unfortunate East Asians are, after all, mostly Shinto and Buddhists.

However, my belief, based not on silly superstition but on the plainly evident resourcefulness of the people of this great land, is that they will with stoic resolve pick themselves up, mourn their dead, clean up and rebuild. If my estimation of them is accurate, they will not cower in fear of the unseen. Their recovery from this disaster will show how in the battle against nature numerous human lives are lost but humanity prevails in the end.

Rakesh Mohan