Hearts fell apart when we heard the suddenly-final announcement late Monday night about the MH370 flight going down in the southern Indian Ocean.
That awful, horrifying wait for more than two weeks is drawing to a near end after the Malaysian Prime Minister told the world in a press conference that it was “beyond reasonable doubt” that the plane was lost and there were no survivors.
In the midst of the desolating sadness though, what has been even more despairing is seeing the media frenzy over it all. In only two weeks, I can only imagine the agony that family and loved ones of the passengers and crew have had to endure as the media went wild throwing out wild speculations, hating on the Malaysian authorities, and reporting every tiny tidbit—accurate or not—that blinked across press conferences. As someone who doesn’t know anyone on the plane, I have watched aghast from the sidelines as theories, blog posts and even, most shockingly, tasteless memes, have abounded across social media platforms and news portals.
How much of this has really been helpful?
I know most of it is being done with good intention—reporters and writers wishing to add a glimmer of hope to what a terribly sad and desperate situation. And yes, accurate news reports (and what is accurate, really?) may be helpful for keeping abreast of findings, but the endless chatter on television, news portals and social media about what could have happened has become muddled, exhausting and, I believe, even more despairing.
For all that has been said and talked and discussed and speculated, I have thought often in the last two weeks that all this energy might perhaps have been better put towards something like real, true, ardent prayer.
We can pray—whatever ‘prayer’ might mean for each of us.
Instead of putting so much of our thought and energy into guessing “maybes” or disputing the way things have been handled, couldn’t we please divert more of that time, thought and energy towards creating something of strength, love, true blessings? Right now, this feels more real than the bandying about of personal opinions and loose news reports.
If we believe in something higher than ourselves—God, the Bodhisattvas, the angels, formless universal energy—then direct a prayer to call upon their benevolent protection and love for the passengers and their families. If we don’t believe in anything, we can still send a positive thought or a silent message of strength towards everyone. It might not bring the plane or the passengers back; nor will it assuage what I can only imagine to be an abyss of sadness. But neither does empty talk, speculations and ranting.
If such tiny snippets of news and dreadful speculations can create such turmoil and cause so much pain, then I’d like to believe the converse can also hold true—that we can can create a different wave of energy by directing positive thoughts of love, empathy and our truest, most heartfelt wishes. If this can lend even a glimmer of comfort, a tiny second of calm, isn’t that better than adding on to the already frenzied, frightened state that the world is already in?
In the last 17 days, I have imagined that where the plane and its passengers are that they are buoyed by the loving arms of angels. That there hasn’t been anything terrifying for them, as angels would have swooped in gently to scoop each and every one of them up into protection. I imagine that their minds rest gently and their bodies are cosseted in softness, that they feel no pain, nothing of sadness or fear. I think of them surrounded by hundreds and hundreds of the most loving and divine beings—whatever forms they may take—so that they aren’t lonely or searching for comfort; that there is only beauty around them and an air so crisp that it is a joy for them to just breathe.
I will never know if this is truly happening. But we will also never know if any of what’s been reported and approximated is what really went on this past fortnight. I just hope—if there is such a thing as positive thinking, manifestation and the inter-connectedness of our energies—that my tiny wish on wings, being sent to every single person who is hurting might lend some comfort. Perhaps, if we all did this, for even just a minute each, a collective prayer may drive enough of a force for something real and tangible to happen—some new truth to arise, some peaceful rest for those on board and some renewed strength for their loved ones.
Before we read the next report, voice another opinion or click on that next shared article on Facebook, I’d like to make a little wish that we all just stop for a moment, please, to just pray.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Rachel Nussbaum