It may be too soon to speak of this being the 'aftermath' but I'm going to risk it for the sake of addressing what I think is an important part of this whole horrible crisis in Japan. Thousands of people are either dead or missing – thousands more injured; this is the real aftermath; loss, grief and the prospect of a very slow recovery.
It leaves me with the very big question; what can I do to help? How do I relieve the genuine sense of hopelessness and helplessness that this type of crisis evokes in me? I don't think it is a coincidence that I have spent most of this weekend at my computer trying to come up with a creative solution to an issue we have faced since we moved back to Canada. How do we get our youth leadership programme off the ground?
We are in the business of training, development and fundamentally; leadership education. We have worked with young people and understand some of the issues they face. Each time we experience a crisis like the one recently in Japan, I feel strongly drawn to do something about this leadership gap that exists in our society today. We have worked with adults but in my heart I know that it is the kids who need the support. This level of change has got to be traumatic for them; what hope do they see for themselves as the world appears to be crumbling before their eyes?
I am now pursuing all avenues of marketing to see what I can do to generate the financial support that we need to do this work. I have gone up many dead ends this weekend and gained some knowledge about many different 'portals' that offer opportunities to raise funds online. It is all very confusing and it will take time to sort out what will work and what can be left behind.
Spending this time focusing on what I can do, helped me to ease the pain of what I simply couldn't do; I couldn't make the pain of loss and grief that the Japanese people are feeling go away. What I can do, is focus on my vision and do what I can do to make a difference here and with my friends and my family.
My hunch is that everyone has been deeply touched somehow with the events in Japan. How we move forward from here is going to be a very individual thing. For some people it will be a donation, for others, committed action to do more in these devastated areas and for others, it will be a greater commitment to move forward with courage and determination to provide solutions that will hopefully lead to a deeper level of understanding and compassion for who we are on this very fragile and currently, very volatile, planet.
The shift has only just begun.