The devastation facing Japan has and continues to be well chronicled. I have heard some suggest, to the point of desensitisation.
As I contemplate this suggestion, I look over some images posted by Reuters (and the other independent media agencies) and realise how it is only when I reduce the scale to a personal level, that I am able to grapple with the sheer enormity of the events.
For me, this need to scale down the devastation brings the tragedy into its human context.
Why is this of interest to me?
I recall watching one news bulletin by a renowned BBC reporter, who ended his report with, “…we are exhausted now….”, and recalled my overwhelming sense of anger at him expressing for his fatigue when the thousands of people were forced to struggle on. For the thousands their daily battle to live had become more than exhausting, a living nightmare.
Was this good reporting, was his his trivialisation deliberately eliciting an emotion? Was his comment simply crass mistake or was this an emotion that slipped out (true Freudian slip)?
Now, having had time to reflect, I give the reporter the benefit of the doubt and take his comment as leakage of his own emotion.
This incident also shows how anger is not always wrong. Anger is a release, controlling and limiting its effect is the difficulty.
As my thoughts return to the Japanese people, their lives have the added burden of a daily struggle for existence, whilst my own affords me some time for reflection. I see all too clearly how my life shares a common bond with all humanity; our fragility.
As a post script, someone mentioned to me the other day that, the initial outpouring of sympathy that appeared on the news, websites, blogs, twitters and tweats somehow, felt wrong. To those who recognise this, may I add just one thought, at least they expressed an emotion. Considerable harm is done to ourselves when we mask or hide our feelings and projecting emotion into this situation is a good outlet, far more so than say, kicking a football harder or punching someone!