Tragedy leads to impactful lesson

Tragedies. We hear of them too often. Opportunities. We take too many for granted.

Earlier this week, on Sunday afternoon, the nation went into disbelief after numerous reports out of California reported that former National Basketball Association star Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter accident.

Hours later, more details were released, and U.S. citizens and NBA fans all around the globe learned that not only Bryant passed, but also his daughter, Gianna. With them, nine other people’s lives were taken in the accident.

We hear of accidents like these too often, and many times they are overlooked. The reaction to Bryant’s sudden death was interesting to me. It was almost as if, for a couple hours on Sunday, the country stopped what it was doing and struggled to digest the news.

For many people, that’s understandable and within the norm. But, in all honesty, the more I thought about it, the more it seemed to me that these incidents aren’t given the appropriate attention when they happen.

It immediately made me think about my family and those who I have a close relationship with. I wanted to talk to them and see how the news affected them. Before ending the conversations, I told them how important they really are to me in my day-to-day life and that I loved them.

That’s what we need to do. As a society, we often fall into the trap of getting tied up in our own lives and busy schedules and don’t talk to those loved ones enough. I’m just as guilty of it from time to time.

However, we need to make time for those who matter and those who will always be there for us.

The Bible describes that each day is new and gives us endless opportunities.

Psalm 118: 24-26 of the New King James versions of the Bible states, “This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.”

The line is simple, and I believe it helps summarize my thoughts.

Each day, the Lord provides us with new opportunities and obstacles, but it’s up to all of us to support and encourage each other to make the most of the chances we are given.

If we turn our backs on close ones in a time of need or take those everyday blessings for granted, we’ll miss out on so many valuable aspects of life 

If we step up and help one another, however, be the best person we can be, then we’ll have the chance to live life to the fullest and that’s important

It’s valued because Bryant and his family had no idea things would take a turn for the worst when they boarded the helicopter. His wife, Vanessa, and their other children had no clue they wouldn’t see Byrant or Gianna ever again when they left the house on Sunday morning.

The purpose of this isn’t to scare anybody. In fact, it’s to serve as a courteous reminder to make sure you’re giving people the time and attention they deserve each day.

Whether it’s a text, a phone call or sharing a meal with them, make sure you have contact with those you love as often as possible, because you never know what the next day will bring.