LESLIE CRISS: Even in tragedy, there are signs of some hope

By Leslie Criss/NEMS Daily Journal

“Out of difficulties grow miracles.” – Jean de la Bruyere

“There is no faith which has never yet been broken, except that of a truly faithful dog.”
– Konrad Lorenz

“In all things it is better to hope than to despair.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Nearly 30 years ago, I sat uncomfortably through a movie called “Testament.”
The film told the fictional story of small California town – and one family in particular – and how they deal with the fallout from a nuclear explosion.
More than anything I’d seen before or have seen since, the movie had a powerful affect – I’ve been unable to forget it.
Yes, it was fiction. But I get the feeling in real life it would be much worse.
Hopefully, Japan will not be the example that proves me right.
You’d have to be living in a cave with no access to any electronic devices or outside contacts these days to not be aware of the destruction and devastation rendered by the resent earthquake and tsunami.
I can’t continue to watch the daily news coverage without beginning to feel a hopelessness at the enormity of it all.
Most days, watching leads to weeping.
The death toll continues to rise from the earthquake and tsunami.
Survivors wander the streets in search of the missing and hang on to the hope they’ll find them alive.
And what repercussions will come – in the near and far future – from the explosions at the nuclear facilities is anyone’s terrible guess.
Yet even amid the horrors and heartache, there are harbingers of hope.
And there are miracles.
• Last Monday as Japanese soldiers pulled bodies from flattened buildings, they heard a cry under a pile of rubble. When they removed the wood and glass and rock, they found a 4-month-old baby girl dressed in pink.
Her parents had last seen her three days earlier when she’d been swept from their arms by a tidal wave. Imagine their unbridled joy to see living and breathing daughter once again.
• A day later, a 70-year-old woman was found alive, still inside her house that had been swept away.
• By now, you may have seen the video taken by a Japanese cameraman of a brown and white spaniel standing guard near a white dog that had been injured in the quake.
As the cameraman approaches, the spaniel comes toward him, then turns, Lassie-like, and trots back to his fallen friend.
This continues until the guy with the camera follows.
Near the end of the video clip, the injured dog lifts its head toward the spaniel. And the spaniel continues to stand protectively near his friend.
The news is that both dogs have been rescued and are getting care.
I’ve heard some ask how the United States can send aid of any kind to Japan when we have so many troubles of our own right now.
I continue to read about the tragedy and see the images of devastation, and I have a question of my own.
How can we not help?

Contact Leslie Criss at (662) 678-1584 or leslie.criss@journalinc.com.