The Helplessness of it all

I was going to write a cheerful entry for you all, about my forthcoming experiment in Paddington station next week. Instead if I’m honest with you it’s hard to write joyful prose this week. The uprisings in Libya and Bahrain, a young monk setting himself alight in Tibet and of course the colossal earthquake and subsequent tsunami have left me somewhat drained. All of this has put into sharp realism how helpless one is as an individual.

When the earthquake hit Japan I like many others around the world was fast asleep. My house didn’t shake and crumble, my world remained the same, spinning on a shifted axis. The following morning I remained blissfully ignorant, grumbling at my alarm clock and picking out clothes. That ignorance remained until I turned on the news, greeted then by harrowing images and the ever-increasing death toll. You would have to be cold of heart not to been shaken to your core by it all. The dead had done the same thing I had that morning, brushing their teeth and showering before work and yet they will never come home, never sleep again, never wake.

As you can tell the event has affected me and since that day I have done what I can from England, giving to relief organizations standing outside my tube stop in London. Yet the feeling of helplessness remains, engraved on my being. If I’m honest to myself it’s not money that Japan needs -as the 3rd largest economy in the world- its technical support and skills that they need.

I have been involved in earthquakes in the past, microscopic in comparison but the fear that envelopes you as the resolute earth quivers, stays with you. Despite feeling that terror as I watch it on a TV screen, there is little I can do. I am thousands of miles away and other than financial giving there is little I can do, I have no experience in search and rescue and limited crisis management knowledge, going to Japan, I would be of a hindrance than a help. So I do what I can, write, throwing words into cyber space like confetti in the wind, urging you all to do whatever you can and to my Japanese readers my thoughts are with you and your country.

I promise the next entry will be more cheerful.

5 thoughts on “The Helplessness of it all

  1. Mrs P says:

    Well put, James. Andy and I are just off to a fundraiser for Japan in Bangor organised by a friend of ours, Kumi, who works at the university. Her family are all OK in Japan and far from the troubled areas, but she has obviously had a terrible few days. I think we’ve all been immensely moved by the poise and dignity of the Japanese people. I am sure they will recover in time and you are right, it’s not money they need, but I am sure they will appreciate the messages of support they are receiving from around the globe. M x

    • James Dunn says:

      Imagine if something like that happened in the UK, I’m sure we wouldn’t be as poised and dignified. Glad you’re back home safe, you must be desperate to have Peter back now.

  2. Squiddo says:

    i get that i may not be an earthquake saviour but living in africa as a more privileged person has made me so grateful for everything i have had and no matter how much i give to other and raise and donate its like a bottomless pit that seems to be an impossibility to fill but i always appreciate this too

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