Pieces of Japan coming to a beach near you

Map of the regions and prefectures of Japan in...
Image via Wikipedia

This morning I did my regular thing; sit down and check out the online news.  I read of how debris or as the author wrote, “flotsam from Japan” will eventually be landing at beaches across the west coast.  I hadn’t considered that.  Now my mind is mentally picturing houses and parts of houses floating across the ocean.  By the time they reach us, in maybe one to three years, they will be shells of their former selves, but still, pieces will arrive. 

We are all so amazingly interconnected.  As I’ve mentioned, the tragedy of Japan has occupied more than my fair share of mental time, and still I learn unexpected things.  For instance, because of the outstanding technology of Japan and other countries, we are able to follow the nuclear particles and discover where they deposit themselves.  Various news broadcasters have made statements like: Radiation from troubled Japanese reactors lands in Californian milk supply or Very low levels of radiation detected in air in Massachusetts.  It’s unprecedented.  Not the radiation itself.  But the idea that we affect one another so much.  It’s flabbergasting that we have the ability to follow those effects, at least in the short-term. 

I wonder if we impact each other the same way in other arenas of life.  Do our decisions really matter?  We know that our choices affect us and those around us.  For example, if I’m driving and I become distracted and take my eyes off the road and my car crashes, it will alter my life and the lives of others involved in the crash, regardless of what they were doing prior to that moment.   But what if our choices also touch others in ways we cannot see or understand?   My inquisitive mind gets to thinking about this radiation thing and how it will make its way, however small, around the world.  It will have some affect on other people, I don’t know what that will be but it will happen. 

It’s humbling to imagine.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have any grandiose ideas about my role in this world.  As far as I know, no one in Zimbabwe is suffering because I forgot to wash the dishes.  But, sometimes it’s good to sit back and realize how connected we all are.  Sometimes, we think things like, “That’s not my problem.”  But maybe it is. 

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