Flight 370 from Kuala Lumpur. The questions abound. From Twitter to casual conversations, from news streams to classroom discussions, questions about a missing jet filled with innocent people roll out as fast as ticker tape in a hot market. How does a HUGE jet just vanish? Was it a conspiracy? What if it’s a terrorist plot—what’s the end game? What about the people on the plane—when did they know something was wrong—are they alive—and if they’re alive, are they ok? Why hasn’t Malaysia been transparent about the investigation? Even today, thirteen days after Flight 370 went off grid, with chatter about potential wreckage sited in the Indian Ocean, more questions emerge. If the flight went down, was it mechanical…why was the plane diverted? The many questions surrounding this mysterious event will continue to be asked even if we never have solid answers – and even if we do. We humans must ask questions….why, when, how, why, when, where, why….?
Flight 370. The emotions are all over the place. Fear fills the hearts of families and friends who are clamoring for information. Anger explodes in the face of a perceived “run around.” Desperation hovers in the home where mother and child cling to the hope that the person who cares for them and offers them their only security is perhaps just missing. Frustration oozes out of the experts. Sympathy flows from those who know from their own experience how horrible it is to wait and wonder for hours, days, weeks. Apathy enters in on the part of those who are busy and distracted with their own struggles of life—sometimes followed by a sense of guilt for not reacting like “everyone else.” Ambiguity sums it up for others. And perhaps we might even name a gnawing sense of morbid curiosity driving those who cannot get enough tweets, news updates, and conversations about the mysterious missing flight. Each and every one of these reactions—or lack thereof—is legitimate in this situation and in all situations of life. Ours is the task of accepting our place on an emotional roller coaster and allowing others to enter into their emotional space on a crazy, mysterious ride that makes no sense at all.
Flight 370. The lessons are significant. Boeing is learning how to make cockpits even safer. Nations are learning—we hope—the importance of collaboration and communication. Satellite companies and governments are convinced that much more than a ping is necessary and possible in this global world of uncertainties and dangers. Families and communities are discovering ways of supporting one another. And we…those of us so far removed…we have things to learn also. The mysterious and confusing circumstances surrounding what should have been a routine part of life hold a lesson that comes to us from family and friends of the 239 who are watching, waiting, wondering. The last conversations, the last text messages, the last moments with their beloveds are being remembered and revisited over and over again. And herein lies our lesson: every interaction, every conversation, every action, every selfie, every moment leaves a footprint in the hearts and minds of others. Flight 370 has taught us that—again. In the midst of this mystery each of us has another routine moment to offer kindness, honesty, helpfulness, integrity, caring, loving, goodness. Each of us has the gift of this moment to honor the 239 missing souls and their loved ones by living and being the kind and loving people I believe we are all created to be. With questions swirling through our minds and emotions beating in our hearts, we have this moment—perhaps our only moment—to leave a footprint of kindness and love. In the midst of that which makes no sense at all–in the midst of the mystery behind Flight 370- may we learn the importance of every moment.
-Rev. Diane Dardon