Flight MH17 departed Amsterdam at 12:15pm (Amsterdam local time) and was estimated to arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 6:10 am (Malaysia local time) the next day. Unfortunately, it never arrived.
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crashed, killing the 298 people onboard.
There I was, sitting on the kitchen bench, having my morning coffee while browsing Twitter.
Being raised in a Malay family, this tragedy profoundly hits home for me. I was affected and distraught. I didn't know anyone, nor am I connected to the airline in any way, but my heart shattered to pieces when I heard the shocking news. It was the same feeling I felt when MH370 went missing four months ago.
My first thought went out to the families and friends of the passengers and crew members of the flight. How would they feel? Did they have a chance to show their loved ones on the plane how much they mean to them?
Then my thoughts went to my family and friends: Do they know how much they mean to me? Have I done enough to show them how much I care?
While we're busy wrapping our heads around how this happened, here are some lessons of which we can take note in light of this tragedy:
1. We can't control everything
We live. We plan. We make arrangements. There are so many things that shape our lives. But, for the most part, things are completely out of our control, no matter what we do. Did the passengers or their grounded loved ones see this coming? No. There were no plans about how to tie up loose ends or continue life without the victims.
As much as we feel like life must go our way, unexpected moments happen and those moments largely shape our lives. We quite simply can't control everything in this world.
2. Live in the moment
Life is in between our goals and it needs to be lived. All tragedies teach us this, yet we still take time for granted. We still think we have forever to make our dreams come true.
If there is one thing that this awful event can teach us, it is to live in the moment. It's the only sure thing that you have right now. The "perfect time" might be too late and waiting for it to manifest is no way to live. Go and follow your dreams now.
3. Nothing lasts forever
That awesome job you have? You can lose it.
That $1.3 million penthouse you just bought? You can lose it.
Those friends you meet every Sunday for brunch? You can lose them.
Ultimately, life ends. It is only a matter of time before we lose everything, so cherish what you have while you have it.
4. Relationships are everything
When you leave this world, you won't be among the people who are affected. When you're dying, you don't think about your money, car or what job; you think about the moments you've shared with your family, the smiles and laughter you created with your colleagues and the moments when you randomly smiled to a stranger on the bus.
Prioritize your family; every meal you share could be your last. Spend time with your real friends, not those who bring you down. Most importantly, tell the people you love how much they mean to you.
At the end of the day, this is what matters most.
My deepest condolences go to the families and friends of those who died in the tragic MH17 flight.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock