Reactions to the Disasters in Japan – the Good, the Bad, the Ugly.


Nobody could fail to be astounded at the images and videos coming out of Japan, after the Tsunami. The devastation and scale of the disaster seems impossible to comprehend in my little human brain. It’s bad enough in my imagination,but to see the multitudes of people who have somehow survived who are dealing with the reality and the aftermath evokes in me a deep sense of empathy and solidarity, as it should. If a tsunami wasn’t devastating enough, the potential for nuclear disaster is a further devastation for people already going through unimaginable conditions.

The international response has, as it should be, been willingly forthcoming and prompt. On the whole, it restores my faith somewhat in humanity when I see evidence of humanistic unity in the face of disaster. It’s sad that sometimes, it takes disaster to bring out the best side of humanity, but good to see when people are concerned for their fellow human. I was surprised that Japan did not accept aid offered by China, as, how could that be in the interest of the Japanese people who could probably have done with that aid?

If that thought relieves me somewhat, the inhumanism and the worst of humanity also seems to come out of disaster. One would have thought the only person to be pleased about the Tsunami would be Gaddaffi & those dictators who would be relieved to have attention diverted from them. To see some reactions, rejoicing in the anguish of the Japanese, claiming it as ‘karma’ for Pearl Harbour and for military transgressions 60 YEARS AGO, and being filled with joy and smugness, just confuses me – I just can’t understand it. I’ll bet that many of the people celebrating weren’t even born yet! Are they so indoctrinated in hate that they can’t empathise? Do they REALLY believe what they are saying? And, then, there’s  the trolls using as a joke, also completely lacking any tact or humanity (just have a look here: http://www.tntmagazine.com/tnt-today/archive/2011/03/15/tamtampamela-video-god-is-so-good-for-japan-s-earthquake-and-tsunami.aspx to see what I’m talking about). I despair, I really do!

So, for the Japanese people and any other people suffering anywhere, now, I express my solidarity, and I’m sorry for your suffering.

To the woman in the link I just posted, and to all the other haters, this is to you, from me x

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Humanism, Inhumanism and changing my mind about Annihilation.


So, as I said a few days ago, for the first time I was feeling quite nihilistic, which was a first for me. I am very grateful for the relief of not feeling that level of philosophical despondency – a bit like sinking in quicksand. For awhile, I couldn’t see the humanitree for the inhumanitrees. The inhumanity of the world was becoming overwhelming (an indulgence, considering what others are going through now).

Personally, something which I found very pleasing (as I understand, many people did) is that all of these Arab revolutions and uprisings have seemed to be based on humanity. People putting aside their differences, uniting as humans and demanding their dignity & rights. Something more beautiful than I could ever have imagined (although the horror of seeing such violence and inhumanity inflicted on peaceful, righteous protesters is something I will never forget and the joy of seeing the revolution finally unfold was a bittersweet one).

I’ve considered myself a humanist (if I HAVE to have a label) and on a personal level, I initially found that these humanistic, unifying uprisings in the face of corruption, unfairness & oppression a perfect example of why I find humanism so compelling – the idea that all we need in our reason and our humanity & mutual respect in society to be able to live ethically & fairly. I’ve always been saddened to see divisions in society which divide us when we are all, at the end of the day, supposedly equal human beings. To see the unity between the Copts & Muslims was beautiful, everybody can agree. My biggest hope for Egypt (& everywhere else) is that the revolution that was fought for on the streets is continued in our minds. Our biggest hope for real change that makes a real difference is if we respect the differences between ourselves and stop seeing people as part of some strata of society and see each others in the spirit of sister and brotherhood, as individual human beings.

We have to start treating each other as equals and acknowledge and challenge the prejudices that we all have within us. The way we look at people poorer and wealthier, the problem with the way that the underpriveleged and poor in Egypt have been treated, the inequalities between the sexes, homophobia, religious animosity and discrimination of those who may not have a religion or be atheist, even the way we treat animals – all things that have upset me and things we need to confront collectively. It’s not only the regime that needs to change, but we as a society, each and every one of us. We have had enough dehumanisation of people and inhumanism with the corrupt Mubarak regime. Don’t we all owe it to ourselves to change everything for the better, starting with ourselves? We have to ask ourselves – what kind of a world do we want to live in? Perhaps, with this new Arab Renaissance, we can reclaim the humanity, compassion and hospitality that has been denied to us for so long.