Like many around the world I have been watching the events in Japan with sadness and growing concern. The quakes and the tsunami have ripped apart so many families. Perhaps thousands have died, and countless numbers have been injured, displaced and have lost their homes and livelihoods. As one who has never endured a natural disaster, it is difficult for me to understand what it must be like for the survivors.
In the short term there is need for emergency relief, but in the longer term there is also a concern brought about by the damage to nuclear reactors. There have been so many natural upheavals in the last year or two that perhaps it is time for humanity to rethink how we produce and manage the resources we use to live and build wealth.
And as always happens with these events, we are starting to learn of the miracles, the selfless efforts of rescuers, and the courage and simple generosity of common people. It is in these small things that I find hope for the human race. It strengthens my belief in the essential goodness of people.
There is not an ICUU member group in Japan, but there are some UU contacts and many with whom we have friendships and alliances through the IARF and other interfaith contacts.
I ask you to join me in offering prayers, thoughts and good wishes for the people of Japan. And for those of us in a position to offer more support, please contribute through various legitimate charitable organizations such as the Red Cross, Red Crescent and funds created by the UUA and IARF.
Rev. Brian Kiely
President, International Council of Unitarians and Universalists