Skyrocketing prices in goods and services, joblessness, political battles, wars, natural disasters.  Day by day we all go head-to-head with our own personal challenges big and small. These are trying times.

But observing how the Japanese people have reacted in the aftermath of the recent earthquake and tsunami really made me sit up and take notice.  There has been little if any looting and no rioting.  People wait in orderly lines outside stores and gas stations.

They see the workers at the Fukushima nuclear plant who are trying to keep the plant from melting down as doing their job not as heroes like we might because they are risking their lives.  I did a little research and found out that the difference between American and Japanese culture is that Japanese culture encourages cooperation and discourages self-interest. It is deeply ingrained in them from birth.  Americans value self-determination, individuality, independence, and a strong sense of self, very much opposite of Japanese culture. In Japan what's most important is the  greater good of all rather than themselves as individuals. 

Our way isn't bad, just different but for many, imbalanced.  Do we need to adopt a more "greater good" approach of doing things?  I believe so.  We all live on this planet together and are a part of one race, the human race.  I think that if we could have a more balance society instead of  the power mongering and hoarding out of fear and greed we could and would all have the ability to live much better lives.


  1. Well put - definitely some real lessons being taught all of us these days - Randy

  2. Good article.

    I prefer the Japanese way. This cultural difference extends to corporations and it's one of the reasons Toyota, Honda, Sony etc are so successful.

    I see the power of individuals but we are all part of a larger community.


  3. We all at one point or another have been guilty of being selfish. The world is changing very rapidly. Sometimes our minds tell us to take care of yourself and the ones you love. If there is a oil shortage then I should be the first to the pump... I have been guilty. If the storm is near let me hurry for groceries. Its now time for us individuals to change or thinking in order to change our world. Thanx for this blog. Very informative


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