Out of devastation comes extreme decency. I can’t begin to imagine what it’s like to survive a large-scale natural disaster with nothing more than your very life. Thousands of people lost everything they owned in the tsunami in Japan. But here it is a year later, with the front edge of Japanese debris beginning to arrive on the western coast of North America. And wouldn’t you know it, acts of kindness are cropping up too.
A week ago, an Alaskan couple discovered a personalized soccer ball with great sentimental value for the 16-year-old who had lost it. They’ve already made direct contact with the young owner – how serendipitous that one of the pair speaks Japanese – and are making plans to return it. They also found a volleyball and, against considerable odds, have managed to track down its rightful home, too.
That’s not all. Earlier in April, a B.C. man found half a moving truck washed up on a remote beach – incredibly, with a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, golf clubs and tools still inside.
He has been cooperating with Japanese officials to try to find the owner of the items. He’s also encouraging any other would-be treasure finders to show restraint. “I think the most important thing is that people treat the things they find with respect,” the man said in a news story. “These are parts of people’s lives… I think people have to keep that in mind when they make a find like this.”
Something else to keep in mind: How much it means to return a cherished object to someone who thought they had nothing left. “I’ve lost everything in the tsunami. So I’m delighted,” teen Misaki Murakami told a public broadcaster after he heard he was getting his prized soccer ball back. “I really want to say thank you for finding the ball.”