Monday, January 18, 2010

Kamisama No Ijiwaru

The manuscript above was written by a second grader. Living in Kobe, Japan, and lacking the money to raise her son, the author's mother had to place him in an orphanage. They were later briefly reunited, but he had to return to the orphanage after their home was lost in Kobe earthquake of 1995. The poem is entitled "God Is Mean". I'm no poet, but I'll do my best to translate it:

God Is Mean

God is mean.
Why did you crush our house in Eiji?
Rebuild our house.
If you're not going to rebuild it, give us money.
If you won't even give us money, don't send such a horrible earthquake.
Hey God,
Find us a new house.
If you won't find us a new house, I'll crush yours too.
Remember that.

15 years ago, I was living in Japan and on January 17, a little before 6am, I was rudely awakened by an earthquake that shook the room violently enough that dishes in my kitchen fell from shelves and the light above my head jerked back and forth hitting the ceiling 6 inches above it. Not knowing that hundreds of miles away over 6000 people had lost their lives, I went back to sleep until I was awakened later by frantic phone calls from friends and relatives making sure I was all right. I found out much later that the foundation of my apartment was ruined on that day and it was torn down soon after I moved back to the U.S..

I was lucky. I have, in my short lifetime, been lucky more times that I know. I am always humbled by the fact that I would not be here if not for the goodwill of others, and try to remember that daily.

The people of Haiti weren't so lucky. If you can find a way to help, please give to a charitable organization that is doing good for the people of Haiti in their time of need.
Red Cross
Habitat For Humanity