We’ve been tuned into our televisions and news outlets since the earthquake devastated Japan two weeks ago, watching the tsunami hit the coast and observing the destruction from afar. Nuclear plants warn of meltdowns, the death toll is at 10,000, and there are nearly 20,000 people still missing. In times like these, it’s hard to feel optimistic about anything.
But every now and then, we hear stories that make us smile.
An animal rescue volunteer by the name of Ryo Taira and his team were wandering around Sendai searching for abandoned dogs and cats when they heard about another little guy needing rescue: a baby porpoise. The porpoise was stranded in a flooded rice field a mile from the ocean after being swept in by the tsunami, and was near death.
When the porpoise tried to avoid rescuers, Taira waded into the field and scooped up the animal in his arms, then transported it back to sea…by car.
Another amazing rescue: a four-month-old baby girl who had literally been swept away from her parents’ arms by the tsunami in Ishinomaki, Japan was hauled alive out of the rubble a full three days later.
Then there’s the man who was pulled alive out of debris a full 5 days after the earthquake happened. You also might have heard about 60-year-old Hiromitsu Shinkawa, the man found floating on the roof of his house nearly 10 miles out to sea two days after the tsunami tore through his town. He had given up hope when a self-defence force destroyer found him still clinging to the wreckage of his home.
And here’s one more. When the tsunami hit and Hideaki Akaiwa realized his wife was in grave danger, he defied all odds by finding scuba gear, swimming under the waves to their home, and saving her. He then went for his mother, saving her too, and has been out almost every day looking for survivors. What a bad-ass dude.
It might not be a lot, but hey, it’s a little hope and the stories of extreme human kindness help make the world seem less crappy. If you know of other incredible stories, please share!