We Won’t Eat, Period

We Won’t Eat, Period

Posted on June 19, 2011
Filed Under fast, relief & aid | 1 Comment

Kozmoz Director Barry Wyatt and Kozmoz Icon Bernie fasting for tohoku reliefRead our lips, WE WON'T EAT, PERIOD.

OK, we have been fasting now for one week. I have lost 7 kilograms and Bernie has last 5. That means that we will be fasting for 33 more days unless our friends and supporters pony up $25,000 US for our brothers and sisters in Tohoku. So far, aprox. $1000 dollars has come in. Looks like we may be losing a few more kilos over the coming weeks.

Long term Kyoto resident Bernie, a mountain of man, but one of few words said "It's our island man! People need to do something" shaking his head in disbelief… "How can people just go on buying and shopping and eating out as if nothing has changed… I could understand it these horrific conditions were half way around the world, but these people are family"….

I have to agree… We have robbed ourselves of the treasure that is family and community. In Japan, when a close family member dies, people traditionally enter a period of mourning. And during that period they would not get married or even visit the shrine on the following New Years, Hatsumode, which few would miss. 

We have entered into a period of unprecedented apathy and complacency. Even though the news has waned, the newspapers are still full of information about the atrocious conditions that still exist in the disaster zone.  Why would knowing that school children are not receiving and adequate menu not move people to giving or action? Why would knowing that people have gone for months without fresh vegetables or fruit not move them? 

Out of sight, out of mind is the operative here. And there is no getting around the fact that humans are selfish, self serving creatures by nature. We live in a world governed by idioms such as, "might makes right", "survival of the fittest", "only the strong survive" , "look out for number one"…

However humans are unique in being able to control their emotions, to not only show compassion but express compassion.

We have a chance today. We have a chance to make a statement to our community, family, friends and children. Lets make a statement of compassion. Lets show our kids that people are more important than money, brand bags, hamburgers, etc… If EVERYONE would make a commitment to support the relief effort in a meaningful way over the coming year, the survivors would return to a state of relative normalcy quicker and Japan on the whole will benefit. And each of us individually would be richer by far. But most important, our children would understand the concept of compassion as more than just a word but as foundational value of community.

In the end, we should all ask ourselves just what we have done since March 11th. What have we shown the next generation that our priorities are? When their children ask them, " what did your grandparents do after the great tsunami?" What are they going to say?

Leave a legacy of compassion.


One Comment

  1. deep kyoto » Blog Archive » Kozmoz International on June 28th, 2011 2:59 pm

    […] This is the situation Barry is trying to draw people’s attention to. There is certainly no doubting Barry’s personal commitment to his fast for Tohoku, or that of his friend Bernie who says, It’s our island man! People need to do something. How can people just go on buying and shopping and eating out as if nothing has changed? I could understand it these horrific conditions were half way around the world, but these people are family. (LINK) […]

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