“I’m hungry,” an elderly woman in quake and tsunami ravaged Japan told my friend George yesterday.
Food and water rations are being distributed by the Japanese government. But this woman’s community receives only one riceball a day per person.
What can we do to help?
Why not take a break from war and reach out with friendship and affection? It’s happened before. Back in World War I the soldiers stopped shooting each other, climbed out of their trenches and celebrated Christmas day together.
Instead of fighting wars, we could get into humanitarian competition, as has been suggested in a peace proposal by SGI Buddhist leader Daisaku Ikeda.
Which country’s military can deliver more food and water to the suffering people in Japan?
Can you imagine that instead of bombs, all the aircraft carriers, war planes and helicoptors go to Japan and drop payloads of food and water (with little parachutes attached so they make gentle landings?). The military geeks can have fun figuring out the logistics of how to make this happen.
And that would be so much fun, then the contest could spread to other parts of the world where-ever hunger and thirst are felt.
Another contest could be what Yoko Ono articulated last week on CNN, for architects from around the world to design the most creative and life-affirming structures in rebuilding the quake and tsunami ravaged cities.
But before rebuilding begins, we need to care for the survivors. Scobie-John in Japan reports, “…insufficient rescue of those who have survived, the number of homeless is virtually beyond anyone’s ability to look after, people, especially the elderly are in great need of medical and physical help, many are now dieing in the evacuation centres. Helpers & volunteers are working way beyond what they can cope with. Food also is just not around, many are living off one rice ball or piece of pastry for the day, if that. Donations are really needed.”
As Buddhist sage Nichiren Daishonin wrote over 700 years ago, “When great evil occurs, great good follows.”
We have seen and felt the effects of great evil (whether it is man-made, or caused by neglect by man). Let’s set about creating a world of kindness, mutual aid and great good, now.
Donate to the Red Cross (or other aid organization of your choice). Write or call your government officials, urging them to take the lead in sending aid to the people suffering in Japan.