80 Years Ago Today Proves Friendship is Always Possible

“December 7, 1941; a day that will live infamy,” as President Roosevelt immortalized it before Congress the next day. The Japanese Empire conducted a surprise attack on the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and airfields around Oahu.

Roosevelt characterized the attack as “sudden” “determined” and “dastardly.” True enough it was.

Nearly four years later, embittered by years of hard war and the memory of December 7, The United States became the first and only nation to use atomic weaponry when it leveled the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

History looks at these events through a standard lens. I’d like to shine a different light on them today by asking a non-standard question. Why don’t The United States and Japan absolutely despise each other?

There are peoples on this planet who have maintained a violent and hate-filled relationship for far longer than 80 years and with far less reason to do so than these two nations. Instead, you’d be hard-pressed to find two nations that are closer friends or allies today.

It could be argued, with some validity, that decades of economic cooperation and now a common perceived threat in China have knitted these two countries together.

Yet, we should not diminish the significance of how two countries who did grievous harm to each other found a way to become friends.

This relationship puts to shame the excuses people have for maintaining their bigotry and anger at each other whether within nations or among nations.

Today you can visit Pearl Harbor, as I have multiple times, and sit in the documentary about December 7, 1941. You’ll find a crowd largely made up of Americans and the ever-present Japanese tourists in Hawaii. Together we sit in peace and friendship remembering one of the three days that bookmarked four years when our two nations exacted horrific costs upon each other.

Our friendship is an astounding achievement and one that can and should be replicated the world over.

Wherever you are on your journey today, may you find the strength and the courage to open the door to friendship.

Ray

What Would You Say? – The Affirmation Spot for Wednesday March 3, 2010

Today’s Affirmation:

I CAN! YOU CAN! WE CAN!

A good friend comes to you. He is going through a bad stretch at work. He shares some doubt in his ability and in his career choice. He says he feels drawn to another career, but he is afraid to take the risk. He wants someone to tell him he’s not crazy to pursue his dream.

What would you say? You’re a great friend. You’d probably have some insightful advice. Maybe you’d reassure him that he is capable of succeeding in his current career and that things will improve. Maybe you’d encourage him to do what is necessary to pursue that dream.

What wouldn’t you say? You wouldn’t tell your friend he’s a loser. You wouldn’t tell your friend he should get real, buck it up and get over it.

Your daughter comes to you and expresses doubt that she will ever find the right man for her. Her confidence is shaken by a recent relationship. She is really down on herself. She wonders out loud if anyone will ever want to be with her.

What would you say? You’re a great parent. You’d probably remind your daughter of all the great qualities she possesses. You’d tell her there are a lot of great guys out there and she will find the one who is right for her.

What wouldn’t you say? You wouldn’t tell your daughter that she’ll never find a man. You wouldn’t point out every her every flaw. You wouldn’t say things to further damage her confidence.

Yes, you’re a great friend and a great parent. You’d support your friend. You’d support your daughter.

Why would you do less for yourself?

You’re great a giving good advice and showing support for others. Be willing to do the same for yourself! Take your own advice. Give yourself the support you deserve with your self-talk. Give the beat yourself up routine a rest. Others in your life benefit from your wisdom, compassion, and love. Don’t deny it to yourself.

Stay inspired!

Ray

2010 Affirmation

“2010 is MY year! This is my year to break free! This is my year to break through! This is my year to break out!”