“Today’s events remind us of how fragile life can be.” Those were President Obama’s words today when referring to the earthquakes and tsunami in Japan. At this point the death toll has exceeded over 1,000 and there have been over 80 aftershocks. There is also news that there is an extremely high risk (1,000 times higher than normal), of a nuclear crisis. With so much at stake, it seems not only comical, but offensive to attempt for happiness in such a situation. With death, destruction, and loss, the concept of happiness seems irrelevant–but optimism certainly does not.
We cannot change the series of unfortunate events that have occurred to Japan; sometimes Mother Nature randomly decides to take her toll. But as a nation, and as individuals, we can decide how to react. And in this time of uncertainty, I think the best thing we can do is to care. To care enough that we educate ourselves, to care enough that we donate any time or finances that we can muster, and to care enough that we send some positive thoughts their way. In a world of so much potential pessimism, the best thing we can do is offer our optimism.
More than just the thought of optimism though, may we manifest that optimism into our actions. While not everyone can hop on a plane to bring goods and services, or donate a million dollars like Celine Dion or Brad Pitt, we can be optimistic in the littlest ways. Eventually those little acts of optimism become something much larger than ourselves and much larger than our country. So watch the news, read the online updates, and more than anything, appreciate each day. As evidenced by Japan, you never know what a day can bring. Let us be thankful for the days when our family is well, our home is safe, and we are happy.