I am humbled and saddened by the news going on in Japan. What brought tears to my eyes today was the msnbc headline appearing over the images of the earthquake's destruction that Japan had asked for help from America and then Obama's reply that America would do what we can. It made me think about this macro issue in micro terms. Here is one great country asking for help and another offering its assistance.
If I could turn back the clock a few years, I would have asked for more help - more help in caring for the kids, seeking advice, requesting support and trying to get some personal "me" time. But I didn't. I was raised in a family where we were expected and had to rely on ourselves - no one ever requested help or gave it. We were considered weak and inept if we couldn't do it alone.
Of course, I see how silly that belief system is now. And all my trying to do it by myself has resulted in nothing but creating a somewhat bitter, overtired, stressed only parent. I'm making an attempt to call people when I need to talk things over and to verbalize my needs more. But it is not a process that happens overnight. Old habits, especially the ones learned in childhood are hard to break.
Anyway, if two great countries can model this behavior, we as individuals should be able to do so too. It is okay to admit we can't do it on our own and I hope more people out there are willing to lend a hand when someone asks for help after disaster strikes their life. In a perfect world no one would have to ask and help would just come because it is needed. But I've learned that is not how it works. Sometimes if you don't take the steps of asking, help won't be delivered.
A disaster like this shakes us all up. Makes us realize the fragility of our lives. My prayers go out to the people of two great nations, one in need and one giving. How quickly can the giver turn out to be the one in need in the future.