Us young, strapping folk grew up when the world was revolutionizing safety standards, and the government was tightening regulations. Car seats for children became required, and now they make child safety systems that look ready to survive a space launch. New smoother and faster running train systems have been created to get commuters to and from work without the hassle of sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Larger super-jumbo jets have become routine carriers of hundreds of Americans wherever travels make take them.
But are faster, bigger, shiny-looking means of transportation better if catastrophes of decades gone by are still happening?
I’ve flown a lot throughout my entire life, mostly for vacations, but for college visits, and political adventures as well. I’ve taken Amtrak up and down the east coast, and taken dozens of thousand-mile road trips with family. Through all these expeditions, I’ve been blessed to never be part of a transportation disaster. (But don’t ask Grandma, after riding in the back of a mini-van to New York and back, she might call that trip a disaster.)
In the last few weeks, I’ve been reminded just how wrong a “routine” trip can go. The Asiana Airlines crash in San Francisco, the Southwest Airlines landing gear collapse at LaGuardia airport in New York, and the deadly train derailment in Spain make me thankful I’ve been safe in all my journeys.
With these disasters being chocked up to different contributing factors from pilot inexperience to airport systems failure, they were all potentially avoidable. Interestingly, the train crash resulted in more fatalities than the plane crashes, something that wouldn’t normally be expected.
And normally, I see stories like this in the news of transportation accidents and think how tragic it was, meanwhile brushing it off as something that wouldn’t happen to me.
But this attitude has changed recently as I’ve been realizing more and more just how unpredictable life can be and how fast a person’s life can be put in disarray. I don’t think I’m alone – many young people have a feeling of invincibility, but it’s important to remember that even in the prime of our youths, we are just as fallible as anyone else.
In a time of YOLO, young people seem to have a problem valuing the everyday, the special things that make life meaningful. “Don’t Waste A Day” has been my own personal goal for the last two years, and I can say that I can only think of a handful of days where I didn’t do something.
So when life continues to be uncertain, remain sure of God and your own life, and control what you can to make your life amazing. You never know when you will be sitting in a seat headed for disaster.