Running from Victory to Tragedy


I was up at my usual time a little before 5 this morning and while having a few minutes of personal time during a private moment I came across this distressing news of yet another Malaysian Airlines plane crashing. This time however, it appeared to have been shot by a military missile while flying past the eastern part of Ukraine.

I whispered something to Tress just before I left home and she too sounded distressed at hearing the news.

When I got into the gym, the television screens were all trained on this piece of news. I followed the unfolding story as I worked my way through on the treadmill, and ended up chalking well over 11km – just under 9.5km in the first hour and another 15 minutes or so of walk.

It became apparent that an area journalists would focus on is the choice of flight path. Other airlines have avoided that area in recent months, as the conflict between Ukraine and Russia bubbled away. A couple of commercial cargo flights have been brought down in recent days. It would have been totally expected and reasonable for MAS to avoid this flight path. It would of course, have meant a costly detour. An Amsterdam/KL flight would have to make a detour south and east, if it were to do what other airlines have been doing and what would have been the more prudent and safer thing to do.

Years of corruption and mismanagement in Malaysian Airlines have lead to this high risk action of flying past eastern Ukraine when other airlines have avoided this path for months. Past and present MAS senior executives and the Malaysian Government may have a lot to answer for in precipitating this tragedy.

Yet in spite of everything that could have been done differently, there is an ever mounting body of evidence today which tells us and confirms for us (or maybe remind us) the simple fact that life is fragile and can be so fleeting.

So I continue to wonder why Jason’s “persecutors” could take all the time in the world to man up to do the right thing. From all available evidence they appear to have already walked away from any possible concrete action. It is like avoiding a path where one knows one has once killed something, for not knowing how to make amends or properly dealing with the carcass. Life can be fragile and fleeting. The opportunities to make amends may not always be there.

This week started and ended with unplanned long runs on the treadmill. Monday it was to witness Germany victorious in Brazil. This morning it was to follow reports of yet another tragic event befalling Malaysia. We “run” from the joys to the travails of life, don’t we?

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