The Fukushima 50

Whenever tragedies strike, especially those of the magnitude of this one in Japan, the question invevitably comes up as to why such tragedies befall so many innocent people and shatter their lives, why a God who is supposed to be just and benevolent should allow it, or even whether such a God exists at all.

There is no easy answer, certainly not for those who have been so afflicted.

I think perhaps one possible reason, a painful but poetic one, could be for the valliant Japanese people to show the rest of the world, especially those in the neighbouring nation who selfishly and senselessly scramble to panic-buy products that they foolishly believe can protect themselves from radioactivity, how to live a worthy life against all odds.

The "Fukushima 50", those heroes who were fully prepared to sacrifice themselves for the benefit of others, deserve the respect of the whole world and have taught us the true meaning of love, honour and courage.

"The future of the nuclear plant depends on how we resolve this crisis," one of the volunteers, a man who had worked for an electric company for 40 years, was reported to have told his daughter. "I feel it's my mission to help."

Such a commitment is never an easy one for these heroes, and it is certainly much less so for their loved ones. It must be very difficult for the families, not only because of the unknown immediate dangers these men are facing but also because of the problems that might result in years ahead.

"I didn't want him to go," one man's wife told a Japanese paper. "But he's been working in the nuclear industry since he was 18 and he's confident it's safe."

The "confidence" may just be something the man expressed to make his wife feel better. In any case, such courage has won them the admiration and gratitude of their people. "They are sacrificing themselves for the Japanese people," said a citizen in Tokyo. "I feel really grateful to those who continue to work there."

So best of luck, heroes.

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