10 things to learn from Japan

My father sent me this forward which I want to share with all of you.

I remember thinking to myself “how is everyone not panicking?” while watching live coverage of the disaster from the comfort of my living room.  What I mistook for “shock” and “lack of sensitivity” and being “removed from reality” was, in actuality, the Japanese way of dealing with trauma.  I truly believe that you get to know someone, or in this case a nation, best when you observe how they handle trauma.

Japanese people calm in the face of chaos

The Japanese remained calm in the face of tremendous adversity.

Japanese remain calm in disaster

Some attribute this to Shintoism - the indigenous spirituality of Japan and the Japanese people. Shintoism preaches harmony in human relationships.

I think we can all learn something from the way Japan and the Japanese handled the events of March 11th, 2011.

Japanese people calm in the face of chaos

Japanese people queue to receive their ration of essentials

10 things to learn from Japan

Author: Unknown

1. THE CALM

Not a single visual of chest-beating or wild grief.  Sorrow itself has been elevated.

2. THE DIGNITY

Disciplined queues for water and groceries.  Not a rough word or a crude gesture.  Their patience is admirable and praiseworthy.

3. THE ABILITY

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

4. THE GRACE (Selflessness)

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

5. THE ORDER

No looting in shops.  No honking and no overtaking on the roads.  Just understanding.

6. THE SACRIFICE

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

7. THE TENDERNESS

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

8. THE TRAINING

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

9. THE MEDIA

They showed magnificent restraint in the bulletins.

No silly reporters, only calm reporting.  Most of all – NO POLITICIANS TRYING TO GET CHEAP MILEAGE.

10. THE CONSCIENCE

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

With their country in the midst of a colossal disaster – the Japanese citizens can teach plenty of lessons to the world.

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12 Comments

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12 responses to “10 things to learn from Japan

  1. “I truly believe that you get to know someone, or in this case a nation, best when you observe how they handle trauma.”

    Very well said…
    Sad times for Japan but if someone can get through such disaster and come up on top, it’s the Japanese people.

  2. Youssef Chaker

    Obviously this is not a complete view of the matter, there could be exceptions, but that said… it’s as fundamental truth of practicality: We all either win together or lose. They understand, mainly because it’s been engrained through their culture for many centuries, that there is no point in someone only going after his own benefit at the cost of others. When we help each, we succeed as a community, when we act selfishly no one wins. It’s been hard convincing people of that, specially those who have had the ‘capitalist’ mentality beaten into their heads form a young age. The ‘me me me, fuck everyone else’ mentality is what kids are taught in schools and at home. It’s a shame that people refuse to look at the bigger picture and the long run. Like Gary Vaynerchuk said in his book, the culture of the world has become a culture of sprints instead of marathons…

    The Japanese way used to be everyone’s way. Everyone, though, got wider eyes but lost sight (got the pun? how about the double pun?).

  3. I wished other will learn from the Jap. They conduct themselves in dignity despite facing this fury of mother nation. It should be a lesson to all that panic and chaos lead to nowhere. It only cause more harm and damage. This is a nation who should be a role model.

  4. MK

    There is an interesting book I read for a class called “A Paradise Built in Hell”, I think the author is Rebecca Stolnit. She did extensive research on disasters, and discovered that contrary to what the media often portrays or that many believe, most people react with calm and bravery in the face of disaster. The book talks about how disasters often bring communities together in a very deep way, and that more often than not the good of human nature is brought out rather than the bad. It uses 6 or so historical disasters as examples, from the San Fransisco Fire to Katrina. Its a very interesting read, I recommend checking it out if you have an interest in the human response to disaster.

  5. This is the new level humanity in general needs to rise up to. These are people who understand their country as a geographical location, each other as people and how they all act/interact in situations like these. I admire and respect them for what they are doing and how the coping and rising up is happening. Compared to other countries, Japan is rising at a great momentum and speed. What a nation!

  6. If only we were like that.

  7. One of the many ways Japan is amazing.

  8. This is really a roll model to the Global nations. In hour of crises what one should supposed to do & it’s really surprised the world how they tackled it with unity.
    Let’s hope that soon the People of Japan back to the world’s cockpit seat & lead the Science & technological fields & leave their mark of quality & handwork.

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