It is almost December 7, and that is a day to remember for anyone who has ever visited Hawaii, or any beautiful place like Hawaii is.
Why should December 7, 1941 be a day to remember, a day to learn from?
Let’s look at the event.
There is only a small number of people now even alive who were there in Pearl Harbour, 1941 – 75 years ago. It was a desperate act by a small country against a much larger country. Japan did not have the capacity to make war against the United States for much longer than a year so they were hoping for a devastating quick war, but they underestimated the ability of the United States forces to recover.
The tranquility, and beauty of Oahu was replaced by bombs, smoke, death and destruction on that morning and throughout the day of December 7, 1941.
December 1941, Decisions were made and actions were taken that resulted in unimaginable repercussions back to the Japanese people, and indeed to the whole world.
After six months the Japanese were no longer on the offensive in the Pacific war. But war continued and the Americans wanted vengeance for Pearl Harbour.
Let’s look at what the event eventually lead to with respect to Japan
I believe on the basis of research that I did that American vengeance was the primary reason that Truman authorized the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6th, 1945. Very little research was needed to confirm that the Americans had wiped out the Japanese air force, in fact the American bombers had removed their defensive guns from their planes more than eight months before as they were not needed. The Americans were bombing mainly civilians in Japan for more than six months but Japanese leadership were reluctant to unconditionally surrender, dragging out the ugliness and continued deaths.
Thinking about the December 7 event; how does it apply now?
War is always disastrous and yet we continue to have war almost continuously somewhere on the planet. There is no such thing as a quick war either, and the scale of war is impossible to contain, and are never contained to armed forces. Civilians, children, adults, and grandparents who have never even held a gun are killed, livelihoods eradicated, and their homes destroyed. The demand for vengeance cycles back and forth, war is never worthwhile.
Thinking about December 7, does it have smaller scale meaning?
I once watched a short film about road rage, where a small incident results in a chain of reactions back and forth, each more violent, more unreasonable in connection to the original. Eventually, and unbelievable they killed each other, each unable to stop the madness. This is just one smaller scale meaning.
Trying to identify a lesson from history to living now
December 7, 1941 is a day for me to remember that people are prone to mistakes, a simplification certainly as Pearl Harbour was an act of war. But it can lead past just simply winning the war, it leads to vengeance. Vengeance, the eye for an eye mentality is the something that humankind needs to set aside.
Negativity I imagine could be like waves spreading out after a stone is dropped in the water. I mean that approach where we think, “why should I do that for that person because no one does that for me.”
If that is the lesson, does it make a difference to me?
In my personal daily life, how can I apply that? In my life I can try to ignore the small actions that I consider slights that people do. They occur on the road, in restaurants, and really everywhere. Instead I will love the surprise of holding the door for someone unexpectedly, inviting someone else to take the line ahead of me, and try to imagine some stressful event that causes another driver to behave the way they have.
I have a choice, maybe the only thing I actually control in my life is my attitude. I can breathe and let go, move on or I can continue the chain of slights and unforgiveness against the humanity around me.
Which will make me feel better?
Why blog about it?
What a world we could have if we were chain breakers instead. If we all did a random act of kindness once a day anonymously, that would be huge. It could be while driving, or even by simply picking up one piece of litter.
Just One small act, Once a day, it doesn’t need to be monetary, each of us can decide for ourselves what we do. Which will make us feel better? Which will make our lives better?
Random Acts of Kindness – I think that is a lifestyle change I can embrace going forward, once a day, in some very small way, I will do something positive expecting nothing in return.
That’s what I learned from December 7 and will try to apply in my life and by writing it down I hope it can become a habit.
For me December 7, is a day to remember, a day to learn from.
Thanks for taking the time to read this post. What do you think? Should people learn history, recall history? Where do you find inspiration? Is this kind of post worthwhile? interesting? How can I improve my writing? my presentation? What did you like? Your comments and suggestions are welcome.