My views on the Germanwings incident

It is now almost beyond doubt that the copilot intentionally crashed the plane. But I had my thoughts on the suicide suspicion/topic before, and now I’d like to share them.

Sometimes I see someone say: “People who commit suicide are cowards.” And this is, in tragic irony, pointing to the reason why people commit suicide: Lack of empathy/love, and as a result, according society structures. People who don’t care about dragging others into death with themselves are that way because circumstances made them stop caring. Who expects them to respect that which caused them to override their self-preservation drive in such a painful way?

So blame games don’t help. It doesn’t matter whether someone was ‘too weak’ or ‘too sensitive’. The universe put us in certain situations and we have to make an effort to deal with them well.

The plane crash incident now, as could have been expected, triggers a full avoidance strategy. It is being talked about how to change procedures and protocol to prevent another such incident. Apart from the fact that it will always be a tradeoff, this is the folly of trying to replace caring with control. Even worse in this context is asking for more rigid medical and psychological tests. There’s obviously a lack of understanding about matters of depression, but reality provides the facts. People who are depressed due to alienation from society will, if necessary in their situation, still wear a mask of things being alright. Such tests can never be sufficiently reliable to replace empathy and caring.

And the fact that now 150 people were killed by someone committing suicide, more than usual (not much though if you consider bombing suicides), should be interpreted as the natural development of symptoms of an unadressed problem increasing in severity. It is telling us: The world will suffer from the results of emotional coldness and judgmental distance more and more, until you learn your lesson. If you resist the simple path, you will drive yourself deeper into misery, and that eventually will have to be followed by a turnaround, but then it will come with immense sacrifice.

Of course it sucks that it might hurt people who actually understand this, who didn’t need the wakeup call, but that’s the nature of tragedies. There’s no distinction, because such events, in their causality, are not meant to enact justice. The universe is above and beyond that.

Personally, for example , I’d still prefer to die in a plane crash due to a terrorist attack than due to a technical issue, because the latter is about greed and corporate procedures, about distance and machine-like processes, while the former at least involves a direct human factor – someone’s grievances brought to the extreme and facing other people with it, willing to end his own life with others.

So if you still think that people who commit suicide are cowards … why don’t you try it yourself? Then you’ll see how much courage it takes, and how much pain someone must feel in order to make such a step.

AFTERTHOUGHT: Cockpit door policies were changed shortly after 9/11, so this incident was made possible or at least made easier by a measure taken based on fear (and lies, but that’s another story). This gets freakonomics-style if you compare lives saved from post-9/11 measures to lives taken by them.