Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Support In Lieu of Judgement

I read an article yesterday that made me cringe. In it, the writer expressed his thoughts on Japan's recent tragedies. From a pros vs. cons perspective, he told of both the positive and negative aspects of the natural disasters and their aftermath. When stating his positive point, he compared Japan's disaster to that of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. Here is a quote directly from the writer himself:

" do not see any of the Japanese people looting, stealing televisions, or getting mad at the lack of help. I think the people of New Orleans should be forced to study this disaster and the people of Japan. I am sure that they could learn something from this disaster and how the people of Japan have behaved during this tragedy."

One of his readers commented, "I was humiliated to be a resident of the coast after Katrina and the fact that New Orleans and it's broken levees got national news with it's lazy fat welfare thieving people got coverage...and no one deserves help, it is a gift." She said a few other things that I would deem hateful, but then I've given her too much attention as it is.

I will not tell you where I read this article or provide a link to it because I don't want anyone to storm to his website, hopping mad, and start a racial war. We have enough of those already and furthermore, that is not the point of this post. In fact, this writer is someone that I have come to enjoy and respect. Just because I enjoy reading his work, however, doesn't mean that I agree with everything he says/writes. This particular article being one of them. 

The actual point of my post is that it's easy to judge a situation when you're on the outside looking in. When you can turn down your nose and rant about how wrong "those people" are, it's easy to forget that you are, in fact, one of those people. Americans, in this case. 

I have never personally experienced a natural disaster and judging solely from the writer's lack of personal disaster references to strengthen his argument, neither has he. We both watched in awe and disbelief as these tragedies unfolded...on TV. We saw what the media wanted us to see. Everyone who has ever dared to watch the news for longer than ten seconds knows that they choose the stories and opinions of stories that will get them the most ratings. In this country, those things happen to be the ugly side of things. We pretend that we want to hear and read about human interest stories. We pay lip service to how negative and skewed the media is, but if you pit a life-saving three-year-old against a crime spree, the three-year-old would get lost in the mire of darkness. 

I'll go one better. If the Japanese tragedies had happened on the same day as Hurricane Katrina, which aftermath do you think would get the most press? 

We love darkness. We feed on negativity. 

I know this to be true personally. Everyone knows that I have two blogs. Big whoop, I know. A Bitch Called Mom, which I call my "bad girl" blog gets way more followers, comments, and reads than this, my "feel good" blog. I have readers who will go all the way back to July 2010, the beginning of the bitchfest, just to read every bitchy word I've written over there. Of course, it makes me feel good that someone wants to read every word I write (if only one of them were an agent!), but I have to wonder why I don't get the same response over here. I'm still the same person on both blogs. The difference is here I'm trying to help us all live happy lives and there I tend to bitch about the things that make life unhappy. 

I understand that misery loves company. I understand that connections are fostered by things we have in common. But while we're building those connections, can't we show some compassion and understanding for others at the same time? Must we connect over our mutual judgement of others?

I could further pick apart the above referenced article and its subsequent comments, but again, that's not the point. Instead, I submit that when tragedy strikes anywhere in the world, we look beyond what the media tells us, and offer our support to the human beings being affected by said tragedy.

That's who they are, you know. Human beings. Just like you, just like me. Not the unknown "they" that we wish them to be so that we can go on judging them and feeling superior.

To the citizens of Japan, I offer my prayers. I offer them my love and positive thoughts. I offer them what money I can spare from my family's budget. I offer them my support.

Without judgement.

Until next week,
Feed on love, subsist on peace.


  1. love you soooo much...i hope you are doing have been in my thoughts and prayers...

    anyway, this post is part of why i love you!

    and i also love the writer of the referenced post.

    i have little opinion either way on the japan thing... and not because i do not care, moreso that i need no more negativity in my life. i am sick of tragedy.

    there are tragedies in every neighborhood in every city. mebbe not as spectacular, not AS newsworthy, as the tragedy in japan, but just as real. no scratch that, more real.

    at least to me.

    i can touch the tragedy here, and positively affect change... but not abroad. i prefer to think globally but act locally...

    that being said, my heart and prayers goes out to those poor souls in japan.

    (i may be spouting off a bit in my evil twin site about this particular item...)

  2. I love both of your blogs equally for every different reasons!!

    I do agree that everyone likes a tragedy, and unfortunately there is going to be plenty of it to go around in the next few years. But you can't judge one culture against another in any situation, especially one like this. No, the Japanese people aren't looting and shooting each other. They are also raised differently and are far more prepared for this situation than the Gulf Coast was prepared for Katrina.

    Did this writer bother to compare how badly some of the Egyptians acted last month? Molesting and abusing women, all the Ancient Egyptian artifacts & mummies inside the museums that were destroyed and lost forever? All the looting that they themselves did?

  3. i was doing substitute teaching during the tragedies of hurricane katrina, and i still haven't forgotten when one of the 12-year-olds i was in charge of said that "all those looters should be shot."
    i think at that point i'd been an adult for long enough to have forgotten that parents will say things like that in front of their kids, teaching their children it's okay to wish harm upon other people.
    the kid looked around the classroom for people to agree with him. thankfully no-one did. i politely argued with the kid for a few minutes, but we ended up agreeing to disagree.
    i felt bad for him, but i can at least understand that children will sometimes say things just to see what reaction they get. i feel worse for adults who lack empathy. seems so emotionally unhealthy.

  4. unfortunately sad things always seem to sell more newspapers than good news.
    Same here in my country too.
    A brutal murder will make front page, a life saving medical discovery buried deep.
    Seems to be something hardwired into our mentality, laughing when someone falls, slowing to watch a car accident scene.
    I dont know why it is.
    I followed your bad girl blog first because for some reason it was the first one I found, but i love this one too. True Yin & Yang.
    What has happened in Japan is so sad. We cant compare it to other disasters


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