Endangered Animals and Japan
We treat human tragedies the same way we treat endangered animals. We are much more apt to save the whales, Bengal tigers and panda bears than we are an Aberdare Mole Shrew, the Red Barbed ant, and the olm. The more romantic and obvious it is to help, the more likely we are to throw resources at the cause.
But what about the littler animals, the less obvious cause (to our hierarchical world, at least).
We stopped hearing about the earthquake in Haiti. Does that mean everything’s okay there? Obvious answer for anyone who knows anything about anything is ‘no.’ So why all the attention for Japan?! What makes Japanese people more important than Haitians, or for that matter, Somalians, Zimbabweans, or Cambodians. Now don’t get the impression that I’m saying that the Japanese are by any means less important- all I’m saying is that a tragedy is a tragedy is a tragedy. And by the same token, a person is a person is a person. It’s not fair or just or moral (if you adhere to such rules) to treat people differently based solely upon their ancestry. If you prefer to go by the Bible or some other Holy Book, I’m pretty sure God, Yawhe, Allah, and the Buddah all agree that humanity needs to take care of humanity (and all other the little critters, too). This doesn’t mean selecting whoever you feel like to take care of. It means treating the Jihad of the Middle East, the oppressed of sub-Saharan Africa and the refugees of natural disasters all over the world the same. No one is more important than anyone else.