This is Japan

Jack Green’s song always made me wistful, but never more than now.

I’m just dumbstruck by what I’m seeing on television. This is an Irwin Allen disaster movie happening in real life, and it’s incomprehensible how much damage and suffering happened almost instantaneously. The radiation already emitting from the nuclear reactors is dangerous enough, but with two and possibly more in danger of a meltdown, the next few days could be exponentially more catastrophic.

Like every other disaster, we now have 24/7 coverage and video from cell phones to satellites. Most of us sit there, stunned, helpless…what can we do? What difference can one person make? Some will volunteer. Some will organize benefits. Some will donate money or give blood. Some will pray.

But what kind of sad statement is it about modern society that even during a crisis people will look to take advantage of you? So if you are doing a noble thing by making a donation, don’t forget the due diligence. if you aren’t donating directly to a well-established charity, do your homework. Even if a website as reliable as Time Magazine lists some options, it doesn’t hurt to double-check.

And can we please not forget our brothers and sisters from New Orleans whose lives are still upside down six years later?

George Clooney put it best when he stated that we’re great in the moment, but then we move on to the next thing. when the benefit concert is over and the telethon stops, so does the focus. But those people still need our help, as do those in Haiti, and Indonesia, and New Zealand. As will the people of Japan.

We don’t choose where we are born, and disasters can happen anywhere. Count your blessings, and then try to do something to help those who can’t.

The American Red Cross

The Salvation Army

The United Way

SXSW is funneling donations.

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