Last night during a talk about destiny we paused for a moment of silence at 14:46 Japan time to commemorate the twelfth anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that swept away thousands of lives and traumatized so many others. People continue to struggle to accept the losses they suffered and to live with meaning and purpose. Making peace with God or Nature they move on and say YES to life.
Let us remember that in the lives of those with whom we work there are events, both public and private, that deeply affect them today. Though time heals, grief has no time limit. People continue to cope with prolonged mourning for the losses they endure and struggle to find meaning in the devastation. As leaders and colleagues we can consciously and intentionally take the time to honor these public events and to be open to the sensitive private events that individuals are enduring. Providing rituals and activities can be healing and empowering.
Expressing feelings through arts and music is one way that humans have sought healing and empowerment in our darkest times. The efficacy of these means are now supported by scientific studies that provide evidence that such activities as writing about traumas can enhance our well being. In my classes we did taiko drumming and wrote tanka.
Here's one we wrote:
The sea is quiet
Though it wasn't on that day
Breathe in, I am here
Breathe out, let go of the past
Make peace with nature, have faith
By witnessing the death and suffering of innocent people we come to understand our helplessness in the face of nature's cataclysms. Through arts we renew our feeling of awe toward nature, embracing a way of respectful coexistence. Focusing on the beauty of the sea is an act of courage that creates a new consciousness and will to live, overwhelming the feelings of hopelessness and helplessness. This enduring faith in nature, despite the tragedies it brings, is a source of inspiration not only for the victims but for people everywhere who must exist in an uncertain and volatile world.