March 15, 2011
Here's the problem...
We can't pretend we haven't been watching the horrific scenes of destruction and death, on an almost unimaginable scale, play out in front of our eyes.
We can't pretend that millions of people -- just like us, except for the circumstance of their birth or the coincidence of their location -- are suffering and terrified and grief-stricken beyond words.
TV, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter ... they all bring the terror of surviving the shaking only to face the tsunami directly into our living rooms.
So how do we go about our daily radio routine of happy talk and meaningless liners as if the greatest earthquake to ever hit Japan didn't just happen?
It is not our country. It is not our loss.
Except that we are all human, and it feels like it has happened to us, to our community.
I realize that eventually, our lives -- and their lives -- have to return to some sort of normal routine, but I think today is too soon.
So how do you change the content on your station today?
For starters, these people need everything. Literally. They will be rebuilding for years, perhaps decades. Families, just like yours, have lost everything. Just knowing we, so far away, care will mean the world to them.
My advice would be to find the Japanese-American community in your town and partner with them to personalize your aid.
Adopt one family, in Sendai or Minami Sanriku, or any of the little villages that were literally wiped out by the tsunami, and make their story yours. Post their pictures on your website, and help them rebuild their lives.
Raise the money to build a new home for them.
Find out how you can send whatever it is they need.
Make their loss yours ... and give your listeners a way to express their grief and support.
It's the right thing to do.