Our nonresponsive society. (Or: too big, too cool, too disadvantageous, etc. to respond.)

I saw that the Mayor of Minami Soma (South Soma), Katsunobu SAKURAI made the Time Magazine Top 100 people for the year 2011—and we’re only in April.

I watched most of the YouTube plea that Mayor Sakurai sent out last month. It is the work of a dedicated leader who takes responsibility for his small community that put him in charge. The real Japan, you know. He was not going up to be higher than everybody else in the social chain. He became mayor, obviously, to do a duty for others.

The fact that he couldn’t get a response during the crisis really makes you wonder. As I’ve been saying, when people’s backs are to the wall, they really don’t have anything to lose, and so they go all-out. In Mayor Sakurai’s case, it was to publicize to the world just how bad the situation was for his small community, smacked by the forces of nature, and then by man’s trying to harness nature (i.e., the radiation.)

I got to thinking that we are in a world that is so inter-connected. I can put something out to you, reader who I’ve never met, and you can read it on the other side of the world. And it’s free.

Yet, people try to get a response about things that are critical, where years ago, no one would play games or do any ignoring or other bad thing. But there’s silence instead these days.

In Japan, of course, it just sounds like things were falling apart. It’s been falling apart slowly for the last 20 years, and last month was kind-of like a social jolt, not just a literal one. A society that is set up to evade answers and evade candor can’t quite respond well to a sudden human tragedy, even in a place where that sort of thing has happened throughout the generations. Everyone knows, everyone knew, that it could happen. It did happen. And everyone knows what the correct moral response is. Especially in a high-technology country.

Not have a desperate mayor putting out messages on You Tube to the world, because his fellow countrymen can’t quite get around to responding to very human needs.

We have this sort of attitude in America, though. You know it. If you pick up the paper, Washington can’t seem to get its act together. They are passing budgets to cut Medicare, to gut Medicare, and not tell people what they’re doing. They don’t see this as non-responsive.

On the 14 trillion upteen whatever Federal debt, that would default without some special say-so of Congress, they sit on their asses. This is nonresponse. If you can’t gather up enough votes to do your cutting, you don’t default on what has already been decided to be spent. You’re not doing the job. It’s a non-response.

These days, you get situations where the job is to respond. Somehow, some way, it became “cool” NOT to respond. NOT to do the thing you were put there to do. When did this happen? When did avoidance and evasion become their own noble deeds?

We need a Sakurai to kick us all in the pants. It’s not just Minami Soma. In so many different ways, not getting the job done, not helping, not answering, has become the preferred way.

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