I have been meaning to point out some exemplars of virtue for some time now. They are not your average people by any means. They are retirees in Japan, ages 60 to 78, doing what extremely virtuous persons might do when radiation from a melted-down nuclear power plant threatened others: they are volunteering to go in first, because they have fewer years to live – and lose – anyway. I highly recommend you read their story. These are an impressive group.
Their logic is impeccable. They are less likely to experience the effects of radiation because they are already closer to the ends of their lives. Cancers usually take a while to develop. And even if they do get cancer they have fewer years to lose than a young person would.
This logic is clear to a virtuous person. And their virtue makes them unafraid to follow the logic they have discovered. They are the ones to act. They know that they are the ones who should be in there, protecting the young from danger.
The heroism is mind-boggling. Some think they are crazy. Some think they are “Kamikazes.” I think they are a combination of smart and courageous. Smart because they know they are at less risk. Courageous because they are willing to actually act on what they know. Others in the same situation might not know they were at less risk. And even if they knew it, they might decide it wasn’t their problem. But these folks get it. They feel compelled to act, because it is the right thing to do.
This movement has been building for a while, from 200 volunteers in late May to over 300 now. Many were engineers or scientists before they retired.Their aid has not yet been accepted. Perhaps it will not be. But they are ready to go if the government and power plant will let them.
In any case, they have already shown their mettle. These are logical, honorable, good people. Rare in their virtue. I feel proud just to know they exist.