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.
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.