Through hard­ship, to the stars

The Sunday Guardian - - & Comment Analysis - By Maulana Wahidud­din Khan

The March 2011 Tōhoku earth­quake was the most pow­er­ful known earth­quake ever to have hit Ja­pan, and one of the five most pow­er­ful in the world since 1900. The earth­quake trig­gered a tsunami whose waves reached heights of 133 feet and trav­elled 10 kilo­me­tres in­land. The tsunami then caused a nu­clear melt­down at the Fukushima Dai­ichi Nu­clear Power Plant. Losses were es­ti­mated at $200 bil­lion. One might imag­ine that any coun­try which has been dealt such a shat­ter­ing blow would never be able to re­turn to its for­mer glory. But this is far from true, for only one year since, Ja­pan is not only far along on the road to re­cov­ery, but is still the world’s third largest econ­omy, and the fourth fastest grow­ing.

Ja­pan still fig­ures most promi­nently of all on the world man­u­fac­tur­ing and in­dus­trial scene. It is a hive of com­mer­cial ac­tiv­ity, which is even more re­mark­able con­sid­er­ing that in­dus­try in Ja­pan be­gan from scratch long af­ter other de­vel­oped na­tions, and af­ter the de­struc­tion left be­hind by World War II, and that Ja­pan has no nat­u­ral re­sources to speak of.

In life, the most im­por­tant thing is the will to act. Had the Ja­panese suc­cumbed to a sense of loss and frus­tra­tion, and frit­tered their en­ergy away, their coun­try would have not have risen from the ashes as it has in the past, and will in the fu­ture. They have con­quered their set­backs and set about re­con­struct­ing their na­tion. Earth­quakes have brought the Ja­panese peo­ple death and de­struc­tion, but the Ja­panese have al­ways res­o­lutely set about re­build­ing their lives af­ter­wards.

In such sit­u­a­tions of hard­ship, if we have the will, all our hid­den po­ten­tial is brought to the fore. We think bet­ter, plan bet­ter and make greater ef­forts to bring those plans to fruition. Any­one who lacks the will is like an idling mo­tor, burn­ing fuel and go­ing nowhere. www.cps­global.org

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