Usually huge tragedies don't affect me so much because I am always positive everything will be repaired and everything will work out. However, the event of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan on March 11th has shaken me quite a bit uprooting me from my center. I have a close relationship with Japan, as darn near everything I love comes from there. There are many people suffering there from the various problems, such as no food, water, or shelter. Yet I feel like I suffer with them, although my life for the most part has not been interrupted. Usually my spirits are good, they are positive, yet they have been dampened almost two weeks since this tragic event.
Recently, I began reading the Dalai Lama's book The Art of Happiness. One thing the Dalai Lama said in respect to happiness is how as Westerners we always put our own problems at the forefront of things, and how it seems like our world is always ending because of these problems. He also said that when tragic events or something really terrible happens to someone else we reflect on ourselves and see our problems are minuscule in comparison. This is certainly true. Furthermore, he said that we are also the happiest when we are helping others, and this is true compassion from a Buddhist perspective. In the end happiness is our perspective of our lives. In regards to this, I feel happy I can do something to help the country and culture I love so dearly, yet sorrow remains in my heart for their suffering.