The Chance to Recover Our Humanity
1995 Suma, Kobe, Japan
There was a major earthquake in Kobe, where I lived. Many homes were destroyed and many people injured and killed. It was a tragic and terrible situation, but immediately after the earthquake there was goodness and beauty as well. Complete strangers calling out to and helping one another. People acting truly human. But with the passage of time, as the city settled down again, those instances of goodness quickly began to disappear.
People returning to their old companies and schools. People abandoning the earthquake-stricken town. Others coming for the first time to help. And, along the tracks of a railway used by all those people commuting to and for, a sign on the roof of a friend’s ruined home reading “The Chance to Recover Our Humanity.”