Tragedy and Acceptance

The past couple of days have been filled with sorrow for the families and friends of those onboard the ill-fated flight MH370, and for all Malaysians alike. After the heartbreaking news was announced on Monday, the whole nation went into mourning. Messages of condolence flooded everyone’s Facebook timelines and Twitter feeds. The front page of local newspapers were printed in stark black and white. I learnt from friends back home that the solemn mood was also evident on radio stations. It was, and still is, an extremely sad and difficult time. I can’t begin to imagine the deep and raw grief of those who have lost their loved ones, and of MAS, for whom the crew and colleagues would have been part of their corporate family. I can only offer my deepest condolences.

I don’t want to make a habit of writing sombre posts concerning the calamities of life or the failings of the world. Not on this blog, at least. But I feel I must first acknowledge this tragic event before I can continue posting articles and photos in my normal fashion. By doing this, I don’t mean to detract from other human tragedies unfolding around the world today. Natural disasters, government tyranny, crippling protests, civil war, and innocent civilians caught in a geopolitical tussle all deserve our attention and concern. I choose to acknowledge Flight MH370, however, because it hits close to home. It involves my country, my fellow countrymen, and my nation’s airline. It is home. I also choose not to rehash the event, or to offer my opinion on the way it was and is being handled.

Make no mistake, I do have an opinion – as does everyone else – but this is neither the time nor the place for it. What I do choose to say, though, is that this horrible event has taught me two important lessons. Firstly, whatever our belief system, we must try and accept that some things are beyond anyone’s control. They just happen – be it by God’s will, fate, or a law of nature we have yet to fully understand – we just have to submit. This doesn’t justify complacency. Far from it. This acceptance has to be paired with the knowledge that every effort humanly possible has been expended. We have a word that aptly describes this form of acceptance: redha. Secondly – and I say this without meaning to sound elitist and/or callous – knowledge is perennially important. Even more important is our intellectual capacity to comprehend and internalise the way the world works. It helps us not only to understand why and how things happen; but also to fully appreciate the complexities of nature and the limits of mankind’s abilities. These two things, I believe, form the basis of emotional strength. Something that, until truly tested, I cannot claim I have enough of.

As I write this, I am fully aware of how cold and emotionally detached this piece may seem to some – especially to those who don’t know me well enough. As you can clearly see, there is a reason why I avoid writing about serious issues here; I am by nature a serious person, and when in serious mode, I have a tendency to be blunt and frosty. Not to mention boring. Haha. So anyways, I shall stop being preachy and end here. Normal mindless posts will (hopefully) follow soon. Again, my deepest condolences to those grieving their loved ones. There’s a slim to none chance any one of them will read this, but I offer my condolences anyway. It’s the least I can do.

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