Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Impotency of Waiting

My heart goes out to all the family and friends of the Malaysian Boeing aircraft identified as MH370 that disappeared in the early hours after take-off from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia on March 8, 2014.

The news media hone in on the frustrated and vocally angry who want answers to what has happened to their loved ones.

Particularly for the men of those families, their impotence in being able to 'make something happen,' to change events, to force a better outcome, is anguishing to watch.

Long ago there was the Hindenburg which exploded upon approach to the docking station in Lakehurst, N.Y., and people were outraged at the mystery of what happened, wanting to find some evil force behind the act, someone to blame for their losses.

This new mystery, in an age of constant communication and surveillance, digs into our consciousness and lack of control of external events in our lives.

But even all these years past other mysterious aircraft disappearances, we are not emotionally advanced beyond demanding answers.

How can such a huge piece of equipment, state of the art in so many aspects, simply vanish? What are the elements of Fate and conditions which have coalesced to create this stunning, unbelievable situation?

As I am not an aeronautic engineer, only an older woman with a history of interest in aircraft, a frequent flyer years ago, and with a hobby of detecting (on several levels), here are my observations.

1) Although today's aircraft are impressive in size and speed and function, some of the devices for keeping track of them are sadly outdated. There are better tracking systems in some of the smart phones than in some of the planes.

2) Upgrading systems of tracking worldwide have not been a priority because much focus was put on upgrading security inside the aircraft, and in making more room for more seats to maximize transporting the cargo (that's you, folks).

3) Malaysia's aircraft were part of a regional growth in commercial air travel which has been huge in that part of the world and perhaps they put more attention into getting the equipment to provide transport and less on upgrades. Did they compromise maintenance so that some small failure led to a greater one?

4) While Malaysian authorities have done an absolutely phenomenal job of crisis communications (something I once was involved in), I challenge any other company or government to do as well with such an unprecedented event, and it serves as a reminder that there is no such thing as 'crisis management,' today, only preparing to communicate in surprising circumstances.

5) As long as we live, there are going to be unexpected events, and we cannot prepare for all of them. All we can do is develop our consciousness to be aware change is the only constant. This is no consolation for those who grieve, I know.

We are all impotent as we wait and hope for some explanation. Nothing is more frustrating than wanting to help and not being able to do anything. This we can do, we can send healing thoughts to all those for whom this situation is primary.

Cherry blossoms in March in Washington,
not in the east, but in the west.
And realize that for all our advancements in technology, there is still a vast level of knowledge and experience we have yet to discover.

1 comment:

  1. The news today, March 24, removes all doubt but does little else. I pray for all those involved, the families, the airline administration, and all the people touched by this tragedy.

    It seems quite surprising that on the other side of the Puget Sound, in a small town called Oso, there are families and friends dealing with another kind of sudden disappearance and having to wait.

    I am grateful for my family and friends and knowing, for today, all is well.