Archive for April, 2011

World Peace Game

Posted on April 26th, 2011 in The New Learners | No Comments »

Was that Patrick Newell seated behind John Hunter? What a great example of transparent leadership! How much more was learned by doing than by listening!

This is not a test!

Posted on April 7th, 2011 in The New Learners | No Comments »

Even Anderson Cooper would not have made the journey that these two independent journalists made to investigate the situation near the Fukushima Daichi power plant.

No one will be returning any time soon. Yet, seeing these readings makes me think of second grade where we study weather patterns and which way the winds will blow. Yet, some second grade students in Korea reportedly missed school because of the rain – not too much, just radioactive. The irony of this is the reported fact that 10x the amount of radiation will fall on California. Are we realizing what is happening?

21 Days (and counting)

Posted on April 1st, 2011 in The New Learners | Comments Off on 21 Days (and counting)

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I cannot begin to comprehend the life changing effects of the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster that has hammered the people of Japan. With each report since 03/11/11, heartbreak and heartache have been compounding with each new turn of events. Yet, rays of hope have come at times. Today another example was shared as a dog was found floating on the roof of a house about 2 kilometers out in the ocean. (I’ll no longer designate which part of THE ocean with Pacific, Atlantic, etc. as we have learned through this example that they and we are all connected.) This came after the revelation that, in their rush to leave their homes for safety, pets were left behind. Yet as each day passes, the horrors of this tragedy compound. What will become of this island nation – the Land of the Rising Sun? I believe even greater strength will emerge as truth is washed clean by the receding waters. Three examples of hope and heroism have stayed with me since the earthquake on March 11, 2011:

A young lady working in the government office was probably adorned in her office attire, perhaps having served the afternoon tea to colleagues and supervisors. Shortly after the tsunami warning was sounded, she took the microphone and began to alert the citizens to move to higher ground. She probably had rehearsed this act each month for as long as she had served in that position. With the 10 meter wave approaching with unbelievable speed and force, she continued to announce to the people that they needed to move to higher ground (and very likely heard her plea that, “this is not a test.”) Many heeded her call and moved out of the path of the the killer wave – leaving behind possessions, pets, and even loved ones. Yet, this young lady stood her ground. She did not move from her position – from her duty to serve the people. To the best of my knowledge, she was not rescued or found in the area of the office building. She is one of many who served with the ultimate sacrifice of her one life.

A university professor who studied the effects of tsunami on the region had worked with students over a period of years to train them on what to do in the event of a big wave. He worked with the junior high students to instruct them on how to go to the elementary school, pair up with their assigned partner, escort them to a designated meeting place on higher ground, and wait for help to arrive. As the waters receded on 3/11, the professor raced to the meeting place to greet the survivors. To his horror, none were there. He looked down at the devastation in the valley – fearing the worst. He envisioned the junior high students following his direction to go into the valley to meet the elementary students only to be swept away by the torrent. Had he just contributed to the deaths of the entire K-9 student population? As he contemplated this horror, he was greeted with words of hope and joy. His plan had worked. The students followed it exactly as he instructed with one small deviation. As the students all reached the meeting place on higher ground, they saw the wall of water approaching and determined they needed to move to higher ground, which they did. The professor’s tears of horror turned to tears of joy in a moment. His plan and preparation saved the children of this one community.

A 59 year-old man approaching his retirement was among those who responded to Tokyo Electric Company’s (TEPCO) request of employees to return to the Fukushima Daichi reactors to serve on a crew of 50 people to cool the fuel rods and prepare for whatever may follow. Reports of late show that the levels of radiation have reached lethal levels. Yet, teams of workers share a single detector to warn them of dangerous levels of radiation. The soldiers and fire fighters had no choice in the matter, but this man was under no such obligation. He was done. He could live the rest of his life without ever setting foot on TEPCO property. And yet, he returned to serve the people, the Nation, and the world.

I believe that Japan will rise from this current crisis stronger than ever before as a result of the character and commitment of its people, along with the support and inspiration of the world. This crisis is far from over. Corporate corruption is coming into focus. Government ambition is called into question. Yet, people are starving and dying for lack of heat, shelter, and clean water. Supplies have landed, but distribution presents challenge. Others are living in quarantine, away from family, due to the radiation received internally and externally over these 21 days. How can we work to support and honor the people of Japan? In addition to prayer and monetary contributions to The Red Cross and Samaritan’s Purse, here are some additional options:

On April 16, 2011, 400 cities will unite in the art of Pecha Kucha to support Japan.

Cranes-For-Kids OshKosh B’gosh will send an article of clothing for each paper crane sent to them. A senba zuru would bring 1000 articles of clothing to children in need. If you have never made a paper crane before, here is one way:

We are all connected.

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