Sunday, May 23, 2010

God has gone and done it again.

A hundred and fifty-eight lives have been cruelly taken, an aeroplane that could well have landed safely like so many others, went over a cliff and left behind mangled remains and charred bodies. People who came to the airport to receive their relatives were faced with the unenviable task of going home to break the news of the death of a loved one. Tragedies beset us. The Libyan plane crash, the Deepwater Horizon incident, cyclone Laila- the magnitude or the geographical location doesn’t matter- what hurts is just how insensibly lives are lost, when perhaps one act of precaution, a little care exercised, could have saved them. Why must whole families be left in the lurch, to fend for themselves against adversity, to mourn the loss of an only daughter or son? When people come home to celebrate success, why must their families have to grieve for them? It doesn’t make any sense to me. More often than not, I am brought back to the basic questions that we all ask- the purpose of life and the reason for evil and sickness, if God is merciful and kind.

As usual, people are offering to resign in the wake of this massive tragedy. On the contrary, as the incumbent officials, isn’t the onus on them to fix the loopholes and participate actively in the investigation that will follow? Walking away from mistakes never helps- as the people in power when the incident occurred, they should know what went wrong if they have been doing their job properly. Prompt offers to resign are an act of cowardice- large amounts of time and money will inevitably be wasted in bringing a new person to manage affairs at short notice, and the efficacy of such measures is also dubious. However, considering that people with little experience often do occupy some of the positions with high responsibility attached to them, perhaps it wouldn’t make much of a difference- not here.

When Nature is on a rampage, we can only hope to minimise the damage. However, when the causes of tragedy are human, we have several lessons to learn- starting with humility.

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