Can Our Great Nation Learn From Others?
Like most of the world, I am glued to the internet and television coverage of the disaster that has occurred in Japan due to the earthquake and tsunami. Mother Nature's force is beyond belief. My heart is heavy just thinking about all the grief and anxiety this tiny nation must endure. But, at the end of each day, the thoughts that consume me revolve around the character of the Japanese people and how strikingly different it seems from my fellow Americans.
Generalizations are tricky things....of course there are wonderful people everywhere. There were kind neighbors in New Orleans who took friends in and fed and clothed them, too. But that was not the norm. Looting and taking what was there for the taking was closer to reality after that disaster. But, after watching story after story, from the poorest rural towns to downtown Tokyo, I am so impressed by how the Japanese people have reacted to these most trying of times.
I was saying to friends this morning, "wouldn't it be nice if we (collectively) could learn how to cope better in the future by watching the stoic yet kind people of Japan". You know, learning by example. One friend said, "so many young people can't even tell you where Japan is on a map", and she's right of course. Did you ever used to watch the David Letterman bits when they questioned regular folks on the street about things everyone should know? Japan, heck, they hardly knew who Obama was! I can only hope that these people are watching and witnessing the dignity and behavior of these people.
Each nation seems to have their strong points and it would be delightful if a person could capture only the good characteristics from each nation:
- From the USA: Our competitive nature and entrepreneurial spirit;
- From France and Italy: Our sense of style in fashion;
- From Germany: Our serious nature and persistent nature;
- From Greece and Brazil: Our ability to relax and enjoy life;
- From Norway: Our determination and giving nature;
- From China: Our attention to detail;