VIDEO: WHAT THE JAPAN EARTHQUAKE TAUGHT ME ABOUT COMMUNITY
The earthquake and tsunami happened in Japan on March of 2011. I have friends in Japan and friends of Japanese descent, and was deeply affected by the incident. Today’s post is to commemorate the 3-year anniversary of the tragedy, and to share what it taught me about the power of community. For many of us, especially those who are Japanese, this became a key moment to look deeper and reconsider what is really important in life.
As I walked the streets in my neighbourhood in Vancouver in the wake of the Japan tragedy, I had an idea to do something.
I saw a gap between how things were, and how things could be.
The reality was that there were many people I knew who cared and wanted to support the cause, but nothing was happening in our neighbourhood to contribute to relief efforts.
My idea was to do a community music fundraiser.
But immediately, fear clouded my mind and I wondered whether I knew what I was doing. After all, I’m not Japanese, so why should I even care so much?
As a result, for one week, I didn’t share my idea with anyone. I didn’t reveal my intentions because I was afraid – of uncertainty, fear of failure, judgment from others, and a general lack of confidence because of what I thought was “realistic”.
Why do we not reveal our goals? Why do we always try to have it all together?
Finally, I found the courage to do something. I brought up the idea to one friend, who as it turned out, said he wanted to help. Then more people enlisted their support, one thing led to another and word spread.
From the fundraiser, I discovered that…
I am not alone. There are others who care about the same things as I do. Amazing things can happen when we connect and support each other.
I discovered that…Everyone wants to help and give, but in their own unique way – some people made origami cranes as symbol of hope, others signed up as performers, and others volunteered to help run the event, selling tickets and cleaning up afterwards.
I discovered that…Relationship is all we are – we supported Japan because we saw ourselves in them. We were able to show compassion and empathy, and share in a sense of humanity knowing that it could have happened anywhere or to any of us.
For these beautiful lessons of community, love, and connection that the people of Japan as well as all the people in my neighbourhood in Vancouver taught me, I would like to commemorate the 3 year anniversary of the Japan earthquake and tsunami by sharing the video of the community fundraiser in Vancouver.
Here the video I made with my friend, Duran Cheung:
How can you bring people together to create good this year? People who believe in supporting one another, who care about the same things you do, and who collaborate to create something bigger than themselves.