Our compassion, prayers, and deepest concern go out to our neighbors across the Pacific. I imagine the magnitude of the earthquake, and subsequent tsunamis, will continue to shock us... this is a disaster that touches us all, as we see the stories of destruction unfold.
I imagine that if we were not committed to other things, I would spend the rest of the day watching the news, reading updates, in a state of sympathetic grief. As my dear friend, Tarie, remarked... these events can leave us feeling lost and helpless. She is in the Philippines, where they are on tsunami watch.
That lost and helpless feeling is creeping in on me as well.
Today is the first day of the robotics competition we have been preparing for. I should be asleep... the day ahead will be long and arduous enough as it is. But turning off the news, turning off the sympathy just enough to close my eyes and rest... it seems impossible, and even disrespectful.
So... besides my prayers, I offer this: Today we are going to San Diego FIRST Regional Competition to support the sixty teams of high school students who have gathered from all over this small planet of ours. In honor of the victims, their families, our fellow beings... I will focus my actions on making this a successful, supported day for those bright and dedicated students... they are our world's future, our hope for innovations in engineering and humanitarian acts. I see these talented and sympathetic children as our most certain source of new technology that will save lives, and improve the living conditions of all people. FIRST students are diplomats, artists, scientists, doctors, engineers, and humanitarians, now and tomorrow... they are gaining and honing the real and valuable skills that will be a gift to humanity.
The loss and helplessness I feel will be assuaged by focusing my energy and attention on the days ahead. My faith in learning, the exchange of intelligent knowledge between us all, and fostering friendships with everyone gathering at today's event will have good, valuable results... benefits that will go back to Japan, all places, all people. I hope we each find a means of holding hope, keeping faith, and taking action to provide care for earthquake and tsunami victims. It won't be an easy day, my heart is heavy, but my beliefs are strong, my convictions certain.