resilience starts with information
Disasters like COVID-19 bring us together — if we let them
Some disasters bring us together. The 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake spawned volunteerism on a scale unprecedented in Japan. What’s volunteerism? Doing good for its own sake — not for profit. Volunteers coalesced into nonprofit organizations, given official status by the Nonprofit Organization Law of 1998. It was idealism in motion: By 2015, NPOs numbered more than 50,000, according to the Japan NPO Center.
The Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011, triggering tsunamis and nuclear meltdowns, was catastrophic, one would think, almost beyond human endurance. Its sufferings and dislocations are not healed to this day. And yet, one of the enduring memories is a happy one, enshrined in the “kanji of the year” that year — kizuna (human bonds), seen as not only surviving the shock but strengthened by it. We drew closer to one another…
Being able to begin again is at the heart of resilience
We lived in a world that appeared to be filled with happiness, fun, and having a good time. People worked hard and played hard. We could travel to the ends of the earth for holidays and adventures. The sky was the limit as there seemed to be new opportunities around every corner. Progress and growth were the key words in the economy.
Suddenly it has all come to a full stop. Our movements have been restricted. In the economy, survival has replaced progress and growth. The future is uncertain. We are left with a very basic question – how are we going to survive and work our way through this global, national and personal crisis? Over the centuries there have been plagues, famines, wars and natural disasters of all kinds. Somehow or other the human spirit survives and comes through. We can do the same. It is in our nature to survive and keep going…