Sunday, March 16, 2014

Why Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Disappearance Frightens Us All

The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370 exposed to the world the limits of man, with all of his advanced technology, to be in control of his destiny. The very reality that a large, technologically advanced and electronic communications laden aircraft could seemingly vanish from the face of the earth is sobering.  Many of us probably assumed that pilots were in constant contact with air traffic control or some automated tracking system was on at all times that could not be deactivated by someone on board, but it seems that is not true. In a world build around getting instant answers, it’s a shock for people to discover we don’t have it all under control.

Men have walked on the surface of the moon. We have rovers on the surface of the planet of Mars and we have a craft that has left the solar system and is headed into the far reaches of space. We have technology that allows us to capture billions of cell phone calls and internet searches, but there are blank spots on this planet where we are blind.

The safety of any jetliner with hundreds of passengers on board is in the hands of the pilots and it is now obvious that in some parts of the world that is truer than others. We want to know what happened now and sit in shock to find out we can’t know instantly because of our human limitations. The general public is always shocked to discover the reality of our limited knowledge and reach here on earth.

We still have to depend on the goodwill, skills and sound minds of those in control when we become a passenger of any type. This reminds us that what we have come to view as routine is not routine, when we board that train, ship or airplane we have truly placed our lives into the hands of people we don’t know. We often forget the risks involved when our technology enables man to do what is not natural to him such as traveling at high speeds on land, sailing across the surface of the ocean or flying across the sky. Those things are not inherently natural to us, but have become safe and accepted practice, so it unnerves us when we see something like Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappear without a trace. We don’t like to be reminded of our human frailties. Please, say a prayer for the missing and their loved ones.