To all the brave people of Japan:
I am a Thai who has benefited from the help of your government (through the Japan Foundation Scholarship) and your kind people during my college time some 30 years ago. Time passes but the gratitude remains with me always.
I have visited your beautiful country several times. I have received news about the catastrophe happened to Japan from the news, and my heart goes out to you all. Please accept my sincere condolences. Wish you all remain as brave and strong as ever – because this too shall pass. I believe Japan will come back stronger after this temporary setback.
It has been almost two months from that horrible day and I have heard of your several courageous stories from the media. They are stories of pride and self-reliance, of undaunted hope, and graceful handling of fate. Even in distress, your grace gives me a chance to reflect, and ask myself an honest question: how much of these qualities do I have in me?
During the last few years, I have watched my fellow countrymen reacting to catastrophes, god-made or man-made, with much whining and crying for others’ help, especially for government’s (taxpayers’ money) help; and in those cases of ‘man-made’ (self-inflicted- to be exact!) catastrophes, I felt somewhat repelled by what I saw.
But maybe what appears distasteful to me is what I have in me as well. Maybe I just have not been observing myself enough.
Thank you, Japan, for reminding me once again of the power of choice, even in one of the bleakest moments. May you be blessed with all the needed power to regain your strength, to nurture yourself and to go forward with greater pride than ever before.