Glimpses of mankind: Earthquake in Japan

(Reader’s Choice : Part 1 of 2 [As per DoctorDazza’s request] )

Unless you’ve been living under a rock with absolutely no access to the outside world or the internet, chances are, you’ve already heard about the devastating magnitude 8.9 record earthquake that struck Japan on the 11th of March. Following the Earthquake, there is now a tsunami headed for various countries located near to Japan, which has already struck Japan at this very moment. Deaths are running high, even when Japan’s building codes manage to save millions, more and more are still dying every second. Countries have all been sending help : even New Zealand, recently struck by a Earthquake in Christchurch, have sent rescue teams as well. People have all been reacting to the Earthquake too.

However, what do these people’s reactions show about the state of mankind?

On the one hand, I’ve started to regain some faith in mankind. Countries rushing to Japan’s aid, pulling out survivors from the rubble, trying their best to save lives. And it doesn’t stop there: Even though we netizens cannot do much to help, we try in any way we can – we may donate money to Red Cross or other charities to aid Japan, or we may simply spread awareness about it, and pray. Even stars like Lady Gaga help out in aid efforts by raising funds.

As TVBS reported earlier this morning, thanks to the netizens of the world, the citizens in affected areas were able to react and respond to the earthquake even faster. With Japan’s building code and fast rescue efforts, it was a very efficient affair : rescue teams deployed in time, with citizens even knowing exactly when the earthquake would strike. True, not all lives can be saved, but nevertheless, they never give up.

As much as people may blast our bloggers’ ‘slacktivism’, we do care , and worry about those affected about the earthquake. The earthquake reminded me that human beings , and nations, are not completely like the Iks : we can care for one another in times of need, beyond competition and conflict.

Problem is, as much as we could paint a rosy picture out of all the positive responses, as with everything, there is always a side, less bright and despairing to watch – these are the things which make me lose faith in mankind, and wonder whether deep down inside, we’re all like Iks after all:

You can read the photo yourself: it’s a collection of responses to Japan’s earthquake, with people calling it “Karma for Pearl Harbour”, completely unaware that their own country had caused even more deaths than that.

Sick, insensitive, sinners. I wonder what religion is for if no-one ever bothers to adhere to its rules. This is when all the bastards come out of the woodwork. Tsunami jokes on Twitter. Hateful, if not even happy posts about the earthquake, as though it was God’s gift to them, blissfully unaware of the Vietnam War, of Hiroshima and Agent Orange, of all the people killed.I don’t know how people can say God created the earthquake, yet still claim that God loves all.

Oh right, TRazor shows us Youtube comments which seem to explain this: “GOD WIPES THOSE WHO DON’T BELIEVE IN HIM. THEY BELIEVE THERE [sic] GOD.”

And I start trying to convince myself that people actually care for the victims of the earthquake, and spread the message or donate out of genuine concern, and not just out of pressure and social norm. I even wonder whether I really cared or not, seeing people react like this. And I start trying to tell myself that we anibloggers truly care about Japan’s victims because they are who they are, not simply because we have interest in Japan’s anime and manga.

But sadly, I start to lose faith there too: no-one seems to give a damn about Russia’s volcano and the previous time where we witnessed Indonesia’s Mount Merapi erupting . No-one seems to pray for China’s earthquake too, probably because no-one cares. Which is the sad thing about we humans – that we are oh so pragmatic. True, one might argue that China’s earthquake, Mount Merapi, and Russia’s numerous volcanoes may have caused less destruction that that in Japan – but do they not deserve our sympathy? Should we simply ignore them because less people died?

Chances of SankakuComplex giving a rat’s ass about China’s disaster is nearly zero, since to them China is hell and the land of the barbarians anyway, but no-one ever realized that China’s earthquake actually happened on the 10th of March, 2011, one day before Japan’s, and nevertheless, they dispatched their rescue teams to Japan as well: That enough proof of nations caring for one another ?

Well, it seems that they do admit this: coolly writing about how China praised Japan, and not some derogatory remark as per usual, while criticizing those who made a farce of the disaster. For once, I may agree with the site.

Thankfully, some people still stand as impartial, as sensitive as possible:

I posted a rant on tumblr about how these people can call themselves Americans and Christians yet laugh and mock the earthquake, and immediately people responded, with comments which seem to even apologize for these people’s actions. Both on Twitter and on Tumblr I received responses. I was touched : I was reminded that there is a good in humankind, that we actually can put aside our personal differences to help one another, that we are capable of forgiveness and pity, to aid in other’s times of needs unconditionally.

So tonight, even as an agnostic,  I pray for the victims of Japan’s earthquake, I pray for those affected by the earthquake in China, I pray for the people affected by the volcanoes in Russia, Mount Merapi in Indonesia, and I pray for everyone. People might tell me that these disasters only disproved the existence of God : I beg to differ – I believe that this only showed that God exists- that God does care for each of us, but we need to care for one another as well.

God bless.

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24 Responses to Glimpses of mankind: Earthquake in Japan

  1. Lenneth says:

    These insensitive people are either thickheads or just a bunch of trolls…seriously.

    • Valence says:

      Even if they are trolls, should they be forgiven?

      • Lenneth says:

        it depends on whether they are really just insensitive bastards or just ignorant attention seekers…but if it were me I would just treat them as scums and beat them up…

        • Valence says:

          Even if they seek attention, making jokes about such a disaster is akin to devoting a one hour long sketch based on 911 during Prime time. It’s insensitive, and it makes a farce of the whole thing. It’s insulting.

  2. bd77 says:

    When I open the picture from Facebook, I went straight into facepalm-mode.
    Guessed those so-called “believers” and “humans” will only cared when their own “kind” are struck. Badly.

    There are (still) good and kind hearted folks around only problem is that they are the silent majority (wanted to help and voice out but reluctant).

    The good of humanity will only be extinguished when theres totally no more kind hearted folks left.

    (p.s. kindness is an ingrained value for a true human being, when they remove that, they are no longer what they are)

    • Valence says:

      Well what can I say, not everyone is educated. Some lambasted Obama for his decision to aid Japan, citing how ‘they (quote) protected themselves in 911.’ Considering how all countries gave aid and it was Bush who denied all of them, this isn’t particularly….fair. Or intelligent. Also, saying that Japan’s earthquake is karma for Pearl Harbour is like saying Haiti’s earthquake is karma for god knows what and soon the USA will sink into the bottom of the ocean. It’s stupid, insensitive, and uneducated.

      I don’t know anymore. I don’t know how these people live with themselves.

      On second thought, they probably do live by themselves.

  3. baka~ says:

    People who never experienced misfortune can never understand it themselves. Perhaps, if they were survivors of incidents like Pearl Harbor, it gives them the right to mock Japan’s tragedy but it seems that these people are merely referencing what they have read from books, so-called truths passed on from an individual to another. In the end, they are simply uniting their thoughts, not as a conscious body of human beings but as cogs and wheels, parts of a machine who knows nothing but be lead by the situation.

    tl;dr, they simply can’t let the opportunity pass to kick a man when he’s down and judge their tragedy as if God was on their side

    • Valence says:

      I mean, Pearl Harbour is nearly 60 to 70 years ago. There won’t be much survivors left. Those who cite Pearl Harbour as Karma are all people from the ages of 20 – 30 , which completely makes no sense. Goes to show how people are so easily misled, so uneducated.

      This incident – and their responses- led me to wonder whether people have any morals imbibed and instilled from religion at all. Love thy neighbour? It’s like they dislike every other nationality except their own. Sickening.

      • baka~ says:

        Well, dishing out hate because of racism or difference in religion or old grudges ffs is one thing but have you checked up Ishihara’s comment that they deserved that tragedy and that it was divine punishment? I guess I can let the tweets or facebook wall posts from minor individuals slide but for a Japanese official to mock his fellow countrymen, seriously, wtf?!

        • Valence says:

          I’ve heard about it, and I also heard he issued an apology, but really, this man disgusts me too. He’s trying to make enemies with everyone, it seems.

  4. I’ve been following Yokoso news, and there’s a chatbox on the side for that, so people can ask questions of the man who is broadcasting. A few users (though one in particular I can think of) have been being ridiculously insensitive–simply asking, what about hentai, no more hentai, blah blah blah. And I see those posts and I’m disgusted. I have yet to see anyone I know say anything about Pearl Harbor, but I’ve seen people complaining about those idiots, and I just…can’t believe there are people reacting like that.

    Seriously? There’s destruction everywhere and they had it coming? Excuse me, the United States did a lot more damage back to Japan already after Pearl Harbor. And even without that–people should never suggest that people had that harm coming. It’s like this one preacher awhile back, who said that Haiti deserved what they got because they were sinners. What is wrong with these people?

    I’m praying for the people of Japan, hoping everything turns out all right. And that is all I’m doing, because it’s the best I can do. But at least it’s something.

    • Valence says:

      I don’t know. These people make me feel like God doesn’t exist. If he does, these people would have died out ages ago. But I guess not.


  5. Go go go Japan!
    Everyone’s wishing for the best 🙂

  6. bobbierob says:

    You know, just recently, I saw on twitter about some guy tweeting about how nobody cares about the earthquake in china, because of all the stuff happening in japan. A step up, perhaps, from those ignorant american buffoons, but still insulting nevertheless. For me, both trolls AND insensitive, ignorant people need to die. There really isn’t much difference between them.

    • Valence says:

      Hey , it isn’t because of Japan’s earthquake per se, there is different magnitude and news coverage. This earthquake is a record earthquake, at almost 9 on the Richter Scale, how can we not report and aid them?

      Trolls = insensitive, ignorant people, but ignorant , insensitive people =/= trolls. There’s a fine line we’re treading on…

  7. Azure Hoshizora says:

    well, forgive and forget.
    Actually we have already prayed for China-during the sichuan earthquake- and the Indonesian tsunami in 2004. The general public would tend to focus more on the biggest news that happened.

    I think the other reason is probably that Japan, despite being in the pacific ring of fire is rather well guarded against earthquakes (seeing how no building in tokyo collapsed at all) , I don’t think that many people out there expected the earthquake to be 9.0 on the ritcher scale and then following with a huge tsunami that caused most of the destruction. The whole Fukushima Nuclear meltdown doesn’t exactly make things better.

    Its really nice to see that the people of Japan are still going about in an orderly civilized manner, queuing up for food and all. I’m really in awe. If this were to happen in Singapore… *shudders*

    • Valence says:

      I guess you’re right there. Too much nitpicking on my part : after all, this is a record 8.9 earthquake here.

      But Japan’s has had more earthquakes lately, but thanks to their building codes, millions could be said to be saved. Japan’s gotten into a whole lot of trouble.

      We’re blessed that Singapore is located on a tectonic plate and surrounded by our neighbours. The chances of a natural disaster hitting us is near zero. But if it does hit us, expect a breakdown of society – I doubt we can stay as civilized as they have.

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