Dear Dr. Laura,
Having made Japan my home for nearly half of my 41 years, your words of respect towards my adopted country in this time of terrible tragedy were very moving for me, and I wanted to share with you a story of inspiration I doubt has made it to any of the foreign news outlets.
In the days following the devastating earthquakes, tsunami, and the subsequent nuclear emergency, we were witness to unscrupulous international news jackals fabricating sensationalistic stories of a nuclear Armageddon solely to boost ratings, despite the fact they fueled an already growing panic within Japan. Wealthy expatriates urgently called their embassies demanding action from their home countries. They demanded help not in the form of assistance for the stricken areas, but for their own immediate evacuation from Tokyo, a city more than six times the distance widely considered safe from ANY radiation danger. And it was against this backdrop that my friends and I were witness to an amazing act of courage, humility, and strength of the likes we've never seen.
The scene was simple enough - a Japanese news crew filmed a small country school where students gathered for their junior high school graduation. The kids were walking to the front of the class in their uniforms, bowing deeply in front of their sensei as they humbly accepted their diplomas. But these kids weren't just any kids they were at a school right in the middle of the devastated quake zone. And what made this even more moving and inspirational was the fact that several of these very kids had just lost their parents in the deadly waves of the tsunami.
And yet, these kids did not complain about what they had lost. They did not gripe about what they should be entitled to. They received their diplomas with humility and respect they felt the situation deserved. They were respecting their teacher, their fellow students, those parents able to attend, and themselves. Their strength and poise moved us deeply. There wasn't a dry eye amongst us.
I cannot help but feel humbled.