Simply said, we are so interconnected. There was a time when I would have thought that traumas and tragedies happen ‘somewhere else’. That was until August of 1992 when a tropical depression grew up to become Hurricane Andrew which swept through South Florida with a ferocity that had never been seen in those parts. We had purchased out first home in what would become Ground Zero…Homestead, Florida. Before the hurricane, we lived in a cute little neighborhood called Cutler Ridge, not far from the Everglades. After the hurricane, we came home to downed wires, flooding, pieces of our roof missing, fragments of our lives scattered to the four directions, many of our belongings destroyed and the house uninhabitable. In the midst of that experience, we felt a profound sense of grace and gratitude. What wasn’t damaged, was telling. Many of our religious icons/items were intact and in the back yard, a four sided structure called a Peace Pole with the words “May Peace Prevail On Earth”, inscribed in English, Hebrew, Russian and animal paw prints stood in the middle of a flattened fence amdist rubble. It now stands in my front yard in Pennsylvania, to which we returned in early 1993. We were blessed to be able to stay with my parents who lived in Ft. Lauderdale at the time. Because we were not in our house during the deluge, we were able to drive back in and bring supplies to neighbors who had remained to weather the storm. We had seen the tent cities where people who had no where else to go, lived for months afterward, counting in the kindness of strangers to sustain their families. When things like ‘natural distasters’ occur, it can bring out the best or worst in us.
So it is with what is unfolding moment by moment in Japan. The world watches and waits, prays and holds vigil for those whose lives were literally turned upside down in a heartbeat. When I first heard the news, I took a deep breath and exhaled healing, not fear. The temptation is to get drawn into the chaos when what the situation calls for is love and calmness, as best we are able. And then the rebuilding. This is the time for putting aside of differences and standing with each other as we repair what is damaged, salvaging lives from the rubble. Resilience is called for. Knowing that in order to survive, it is important to offer strength and support, whether it is in the form of donations or prayer; visualizing recovery. Our thoughts are so powerful.
I just discovered that the person who originated The World Peace Prayer Society in 1955 from whence came the peace pole concept was a Japanese man named Masahisa Goi. www.worldpeace.org
May Peace Prevail On Earth by James Twyman
Lest we think that this experience only effects humans, watch this heartening video of two dogs in Japan and the bond they share.
S?go setsuzoku no tame no is the translation in Japanese for the word ‘interconnection’