Damn it, we’re going to crash… This can’t be happening!
– Air France Pilot David Robert 5.4 seconds before flight recorder stops
The entire cockpit discussion unfolds a sobering story about the complexity of flying a plane and the unintended consequences of decisions that we make. This final quotation (above) struck me particularly hard — the most experienced pilot had just walked back into the cockpit after the other pilots had made a series of bad decisions and there was no way he could recover the plane.
Our world hypnotizes us into believing the continuity of life. Giving us little time to reflect that we’re here for a short while. In many ways, our life tends to resemble the farmed turkey. Everyday we eat, we sleep, we hang out with our homees. The farmer brings us food; he even gives us more than we need to survive. Our tummy grows. Life is good. We have no reason to believe anything is wrong until one day we find ourselves with our head on the chopping block. Life is not a series of continuous events.
Many exclaim “Carpe Diem!” or “Live this day as though it might be your last (and someday you’ll be right)”. It’s not just about living our lives to the fullest for ourselves. It’s also being compassionate to those who are going through difficulties in life that we are not. We should be encouraging those who are going through difficulties because we could be experiencing the same. The reality is that, except for the grace of God, we could find ourselves in that same place, at any time, unexpectedly.
We’re not to live in fear nor worry. We’re to live valuing the important. How can we encourage someone today who’s going through a difficult time?
[Turkey analogy originally came from “The Black Swan” by Nassim Nicholas Taleb]