In another follow-up article about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the AP reported* that a “Late mayor’s vision saved Japan village.” The village of Fudai, along the northeast coast of Japan, survived–“thanks to a huge wall once deemed a mayor’s expensive folly and now vindicated as the community’s salvation.”
The mayor, the late Kotaku Wamura, had witnessed the devastation of a tsunami in 1933, seeing bodies being dug up from piles of dirt, and vowed it would never happen again, as it did in 1896 as well, destroying homes and killing hundreds. Wamura “never forgot” how quickly the sea could turn.
He delivered on his vow. He became mayor just after World War II, and made the construction of a 51-foot floodgate, the tallest of any around, the priority of his four-decade tenure, in order to “defend his people from the next one.” It took a dozen years to build at a cost of over $30 million in today’s dollars, but the project was not without its detractors. In the 1970s it was criticized as being wasteful.
Today, the 3,000 residents owe their lives, their homes, their schools and their businesses to Wamura–without the floodgate, Fudai would have disappeared.
Now, those who once took the floodgate for granted are thankful.
How high a price are you willing to pay, as a father, to defend your family from spiritual or moral compromises? How much criticism are you willing to take to “go against the flow” of negative cultural influences?
There is a price to pay–an investment of time, energy, passion, concern–to teach, train and protect your family. The more you invest today, the greater the benefits will be tomorrow.
Perhaps sometime in the past, you “took a vow” to be a good dad, to be a better dad than your own, to never forget your positive influence as a dad, and never let second-best fathering happen again. The vow is still good, but it might require some gut-wrenching action on your part to deliver on that vow.
Now–today–is a good time to get started, isn’t it? You, too, will be thankful.
*Late mayor’s vision saved Japan village, Tomoki A. Hosaka, The Denver Post, Saturday, 5/14/2011, 13A