On Fate

2014 was one of those darkest years for the Airline Industry, and specifically to that of South-East Asian which had all of the tragic incidents so far (one missing since April, supposedly crashed in Indian Ocean, one was shot by an unknown force in Ukraine)…

30th December 2014. 162 people were on their way from Indonesia to Singapore on the flight QZ8501, most of them to reunion with their family for the New Year 2015. It crashed. They all died…

2014 couldn’t end worse for the Airline Industry, and for those whose beloved ones were on the flight QZ8501.

‘I hate you God! I hate you’. Fiancee that lost her fiance, father that lost a child before her time, children that were bereft with no parent after this… It’s hard to blame them if they utter such hatred toward God…

Oh… Such Tragic … Such pain … Even if as an Asian, one knows that:

“ Heaven and Earth are not benevolent

They make and crush people and things like straw dogs “.

Lao Tzu – Tao Te Ching – Chapter 5.

The Universe, Life, God, Fate – or under whatever name, we all palpably sense something Invisible that is so wanton, so callous, so cruel when we have to witness such sudden tragic loss, such pain of fellow human beings…

At such moments, how acutely we feel our vulnerability in this Universe…

More than 2000 years ago, Seneca talked about The Goddess of Fortune. She was the firstborn of Jupiter. She often wore a light tunic and a coy smile. On one hand she held a Cornucopia – a symbol of her power to bestow lucks, fertility, fulfilment; on the other hand a Rudder, – a symbol of her power to capriciously twist the course of men’s lives and watch them perish with a callous smile..

‘There is nothing which The Goddess of Fortune does not dare”. We are hurted because we are surprise when The Goddess of Fortune smash us out of our expected trajectory. Who would expected when saying ‘goodbye’ to a friend that was about to get on that flight QZ8501, that was the last time he saw his friend?

Seneca thus recommend the practice of praemeditario. To premeditate every morning, premeditate all possibilities, even the worst that could happen to oneself and one’s beloveds, so that one wouldn’t be surprise when such tragedy strikes.

Personally I may agree with Seneca that God, Fate, the Universe sometimes is so wanton and cruel, but it’s so hard to be impertubable… How can one be so callous as Fate to be apathetic to the suffers of other human beings? Always think of the worst scenarios? Perhaps there are so few people courageous enough to wake up every morning with the thought that they may die that day or that their children would die that day…

Whether you agree with Lao Tzu or Seneca or not, we all can’t deny that at times out of nowhere misfortune happens to us. We can’t deny that however intelligent and powerful we are in make use of nature to our own advantage, we are still so vulnerable to the Universe…

Yes, we are fragile, but a ‘thinking reed’. Pascal said that: “When the universe  has crushed him, man will still be nobler than that which kills him, because he knows that he is dying, and of its victory the universe knows nothing.”

“Nobler..” I can’t say that Pascal is absolutely right… But as thinking reeds, we can see such tragedies caused by God as a reminder of how fragile we are, a reminder of how fortunate we are to be alive… Appreciate, be grateful for everyday you are still alive. Live as if it’s your last day, and love more while you’re still alive. As Og Mandino spoke in one of his speech:

“ Live each day as if it is your last. But also one more thing, if you come across a person and know that he is about to die that day, how would you treat him? [..] That’s how you should treat people around you everyday…”

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