In Defense of Nothing
The crisis in Japan began on March 11th with two terrible disasters, but it has continued with the unfolding challenges at the Fukushima nuclear reactor. In the face of these problems, people have made various decisions for their families. Some people were forced to make decisions that they otherwise would not have made – like evacuating from the recommended radius around the reactor itself. Some people made choices to leave Tokyo and some people chose to stay. After the main quake, there were hundreds of frightening aftershocks; there were runs on food and milk; then came the reactor fears. There was a lot of hype surrounding everything happening in Tokyo. However, there was not one right answer for all people.
All people, however, have to believe that they are making the right decision. This goes for decisions as small as what sweater to wear, and as large as leaving Japan after an earthquake and tsunami. People must make the decision and then stick by it and believe in it.
Where I draw the line, however, is at deriding others for their decisions because they were different from your own.
I will not use this space to defend my decision to leave Japan after the quake; I don’t feel that I have to. I will tell you that I’m not going back right now because my son has a trip with his class (from Japan) to New York in two weeks that has been planned for months and months, so it doesn’t make sense to go back now and then make him fly again so soon when we can easily stay put and meet his class in New York.
It disappoints me that so many people judged my family for our decision. Even the Wall Street Journal did it, with its validation of the term “fly-jin.” A guy who reads this blog (and believe me, I appreciate all of my readers and their comments) wrote a rant calling me a coward for having left. These are just two examples of many, public proclamations that we are wrong and they are right to have stayed in Tokyo. I respect people’s right to have stayed put. That’s the decision that was right for them and their families.
And that’s what it comes down to: respect. I freely made my decision and I respect that you freely made yours.
There is so much rebuilding that needs to happen in Japan right now. Now is the time to come together to help those in Northern Japan who need it most. It is certainly not the time for anyone to sit in judgment of any other person.
Until a person has had to face a situation in which evacuation is (possibly) necessary, they can never understand. Keep your chin up and ignore the haters!
How disheartening that people feel the need to judge. You and your husband made the right decision for you and its no one else’s business. It actually disgusts me that someone would come out and tell you you did the wrong thing. At least you have a good perspective on the situation.
It’s very sad to hear that people would be judgemental such a decision. Whether you choose to leave or stay, no one is getting hurt. And really, there IS no single right answer for every individual and every family. Also, consider the stress on the families of ex-pats; that is an important motivation, too. I saw how many people were just relieved and felt better knowing you were back on U.S. Soil. Knowing how much thought you put into any decision I’ve seen you make, I have no doubt that your choice to return to the US was the best one you could have made. *Hugs*
I’m sure that the decision you and your husband made wasn’t an easy one, but was done with the best of intentions for the sake of your children. It’s a shame that someone would criticize you for that. But the fact that you have taken such criticism with grace and dignity shows more about your character and speaks louder than any post that you could have written. Bravo to you.