A while back, a mother was driving her kid to school just like scores of moms do each day in this country. Suddenly a flying tire flew at the mom's windshield killing her. Recently, three people in a car were hit by an Amtrak train. The tragedy occurred at an unprotected Toccoa, Georgia railroad crossing sending the vehicle into a ravine killing all occupants.
Sudden impact. Sudden death. We obviously tend to keep our minds away from these thoughts. After all, we tend to focus on the here and now while enjoying the current good moment. And why not carpe diem? Still, the larger question is, "Are we doing all that we can to appreciate what we have in the moment?" Thankfully we don't see these sudden tragedies occurring every day to remind us that life is precious and fragile. So, many of us turn to what reminds us of life's many values through personal convictions - whether through community involvement or religious activities.
In addition to reminding ourselves of life's gifts, we ought to ask ourselves, "Are we doing everything that we can to positively impact the lives of those around us?" Whether it's volunteering, running a company or simply being with family, we must ask ourselves are we leaving a good footprint for future generations?
Perhaps some view that it's morbid to be musing such thoughts -- especially if it's on a gloomy day. But, it should not be considered morbid. Viewing the relationship between life's unforeseen tragic events and its meaning is a fact of life and ought to provide prospective.
On a related matter, in these tragedies' aftermath, I'm always saddened by the cynicism that develops when basic questions are asked as to how these accidents happened in the first place. Somehow hiding behind a keyboard gives license to certain folks to provide hideous comments to those online stories reporting the tragedies. Indeed it's a free society, but basic respect and decorum has been thrown out the window -- making society develop an even thicker skin to deal with it which in turn makes this behavior acceptable. Many of us talk about the decline of the culture and coarsening of society. Cynicism only adds to that decline. This brings this discussion back to the thought to the cynical online Internet users: "Are you leaving a good footprint for future generations?" Indeed there is a passion to the cynic, but that passion can be channel into positive action for the good of society.