Random Death

The tragic death of CBS correspondent Bob Simon in a car accident last evening reminds us that death is often random and unforeseen.  Over the course of his career as a journalist, Mr. Simon reported from dangerous war zones across the globe and was held captive in Iraq for forty days in 1991.  Having survived these ordeals and won many awards for his professionalism and reporting skills, he died on a Manhattan street after his cab swerved and struck a median.

Many humans live sheltered lives, avoiding situations that, they believe, increase their risk of death; examples include travel to unfamiliar cities and foreign countries or even air travel itself.  While some judgment is in order, excessive caution limits the richness of our lives and, in the end, may have no effect on our longevity.  Unfortunate accidents and genetic-based disease inject uncertainty in our lives and a degree of randomness to our death.

In my opinion, we focus too much on our past and our future, dwelling on mistakes and fearing what lies ahead.  Living in the present is the key to personal happiness, taking advantage of the love, friendships and opportunities that we have while acknowledging that it may all end in an instant.