I lived in Japan from 2000-2003. on 9/11, when the base was on lockdown, the amount of support in the form of flowers and candles and vigils outside the gates was overwhelming. they are a wonderful people, quiet, reserved(unless its Karaoke Night) and truly caring.
both my husband and my stepson are involved with the relief efforts currently. this is one of those times where you not only understand on a far deeper level why you won't be hearing from your loved ones as often, but you also don't mind at all that it could be weeks before you speak again.
things like natural disasters, whether they hit close to home physically or emotionally, tend to make you step back and take stock. all those little things like potable water and electricity to power the Laptop suddenly aren't so little any more. Things we take for granted like the roads..and the cell phone tower.. you gain a new appreciation. even something as simple as having a blanket at night becomes far more than mere necessity.
We have it lucky. far luckier than most other nations. we need to start appreciating that fact more.