It is one week since Nature unleashed her awesome power across Japan proving that she can, indeed, be a "Mother." It is one week since I realized how insignificant we are in the universe, but how important we are to those we love and to those we barely know but have grown to love.
So this is a Short Stop in a long week, and here's what I've learned:
* I've leaned that Nature may be powerful, but nothing is stronger than the human spirit.
* I've learned that being helpless is different than being hopeless. Helpless can be temporary once you find direction.
* I've learned that there are no strangers if you open your eyes and your heart.
* I've learned that taking action is the only thing to do. Doing nothing is unacceptable.
* I've learned that Google Translator is my best friend, as long as I do a reverse translation to make sure what I said is (somewhat) correct. Communication is everything.
* I've learned how important my social networks are, but how much more important the people who are on the other end of my networks are to me.
* I've learned that my solitary significance seems small in the face of what has happened, but the small steps I've taken are part of a larger footprint of caring.
* I've learned that life is fragile; people are like match sticks. All I can do is try to help create light while not getting burned out myself.
Finally, I've learned that hope is a four-letter word that cannot be stricken from any language. We must use it freely and with abandon as we also freely use another four-letter word: HELP.
I guess I've known these things all along. What I've learned this week is how knowledge is truly power when it is put into action. Be smart. Act now. Help when and where you can and with whatever resources you have available, even if it is simply to reach out and let people know you care.