JapanLast Wednesday, one of the worst earthquakes in recorded history occurred throwing devastation on one of the world’s most advanced nations. The 9.0 magnitude of the quake was thousands greater than last year’s major hit in Haiti (7.0) and Chile (8.8). The resulting tsunamis were felt as far away as California and it swept across the massive Pacific ocean. Damage to cities and towns and nuclear energy sources in Japan provide an awful aftershock that likely goes beyond the quaking aftershocks from last Wednesday.

However, despite how awful the scenes that the photographs reveal, it’s difficult to think that as bad as it is, it could have been much, much worse. Japan has high standards for building in preparation for such an event, though as prepared as they were, the result is still absolutely terrible. It’s very sobering and disheartening to see just how easy such an act of nature can completely wipe out whatever expectations we take from our everyday lives. Japan is arguably the most advanced country in the world and, I would even go as far to say, among the best countries in the world to live in. What adds to the tragedy of the last week is to see this happen to some of the world’s most humble people.

It’s unfortunate that it does take a situation like this for people to open their eyes and see just what goes on in the world around us. With North America’s closer relationship to Japan, the status of Japan as a modern, almost futuristic society, I think sobers us to the required idea that such a tragedy could happen to us regardless of where we go. Things can change in brief moments. We aren’t protected by our status in society, in relation to each other, or other countries in the world, and the amount of technology we have available to us as a whole won’t shield us. If it happens, it happens. As far away as Japan is to us, it still should hit close to home.

Whether or not one chooses to donate, I think it’s important to never forget what could happen, appreciate the people you have, appreciate the world you live in, and never forget those that may have been effected.

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