Although more than a month has passed after the earthquake, still everyday at some point I am reminded that my personal life does not seem to be the same as before March 11, 2011. For sure I am truly lucky that I have not experienced the real horror and no one I personally know is facing any tragedy, still, for me there is life before and after the earthquake. Looking back now, I had been rather naive in several aspects, while I welcome at the same time a more solemn back to basic lifestyle.
For me the biggest lesson overall was that no matter what, I am always responsible to make the best out of my life, appreciate what has been given to me and never give away any decision power. For sure I have learned that in any emergency situation I cannot expect guidance from others, I have to take life in my own hands. Previously I had assumed that in a worst case scenario I can count on “officials”, police or service staff to be there to protect or guide me. During and after the earthquake I had a very quick real life lesson, that in an emergency situation not everyone copes the same way and can stay calm. Do I blame for example young airline personal for panicking? For sure not! On the other hand honestly, I still struggle to understand the lack of concern of many examples of foreign media to provide actual information about an ongoing disaster to the viewers. Now I do understand that for media it is more important for business purpose to increase the number of subscribers than supporting those in need for information. Still I feel like a fool having been so naive that I thought in an emergency the media’s focus is on providing timely proper information.
For sure I am grateful for having the opportunity to live in Tokyo, especially now. Japan is facing most likely the biggest challenge in history, when there is no choice but to move forward and create an economically active Japan. These days I find myself being less patient with professionals in Japan, who show very little drive at work. Looking at the staggering cost caused by the disaster and the related decrease of business activities, I strongly believe for everyone in Japan there is no choice but to be more proactive as professionals than before the earthquake. I have to say I am surprised to see a lack of concern for the consequences for business as usual.
Furthermore, I find myself now getting annoyed when I see from my perspective unnecessary use of electrical power. How come that a physically very capable person is taking by him- or herself an elevator for one floor? Why are Pachinko (gambling places) operating as usual during the electricity peak hours? Do we really need stores to be so brightly lightened up? Why are office buildings so bright lightened up even after midnight? … Although everyone can make a difference, I have learned due to the difference in perceived priorities the need for electricity preservation might be for some at the low-end. Or is it at the end simply the question: If there is potentially not enough for everyone, do you make sure you grab as much as you can, or do you cut back on your personal needs? I do not have the answer, but I guess my next life lesson will come up this for sure hot and humid summer, when Tokyo will be facing a lack of electricity.
Brought to you by Sibylle Ito (シビル伊藤)