The Enduring Goodness of Japan

Article excerpt

A Christian Science perspective: Rebuilding in Japan with inspiration, resilience, and hope.

I'm not alone in sending waves of love to Japan as it takes courageous steps to recover and rebuild after massive devastation. Some of what I think about what restoration is and how it happens has been inspired by a talk I heard many years ago by author Maxine Hong Kingston.

She spoke not long after her house, belongings, and 146 pages of a manuscript she was working on had vanished in a fire, the same day she attended her father's funeral. It showed tremendous resilience for her to be there with us that day - a resilience that hadn't been consumed in the flames.

Ms. Kingston intimately described her thoughts the moment she realized she'd lost everything, and how, in the midst of this destruction, she began thinking about a cherished set of bells the fire had consumed.

Later, she said, new thoughts of how to reconstruct her book started to dawn and inspire her, ultimately leading to "The Fifth Book of Peace." She also mentioned that the first gift given to her after the fire was a set of bells - from a friend who didn't know this was an item Kingston had lost.

To me the bells and the book were symbols of the enduring nature of ideas. The qualities she truly loved about those bells, and the good work she had poured into the manuscript, couldn't be lost. All that good was right at hand to be rediscovered. This says to me that renewal happens in thought and blooms in action. Looking above and beyond what appears to be total loss, we can be assured that the all- benevolent Mind that conceives and perpetuates universal existence is revealing fresh views of ongoing goodness. …