Falling Rocks and Throwing Stones | #SabahQuake
The Sabah earthquake is the biggest natural tragedy for our small nation in 50 years.
The pain is exacerbated because most of the victims are children—six 12-year-olds are dead. Two teacher/guide are also dead, and another youth and teacher are still missing.
They were killed while ascending Mount Kinabalu, when a 6.0 magnitude earthquake struck, raining rocks—some as big as cars—on them.
This is a complete freak accident. There is no dispute about this fact.
However, now there is a chorus of dissent questioning if 12-year-olds should even be climbing Mount Kinabalu in the first place.
The cyber naysayers are out and looking for scapegoats. Naturally, the school and Ministry of Education (MOE) are in their crosshairs.
To these keyboard-happy, armchair critics—STOP IT!
We can’t stop the falling rocks but we can stop throwing stones.
The rocks have done enough damage. Don’t allow it to further kill the spirit of adventure and discovery in our youths.
The last thing we should do is to shrink back and start bubble-wrapping our kids.
We must not succumb to fear and start playing safe.
We must not over-react and over-compensate, allowing Mount Kinabalu to cast a looming shadow over our next generation. Let the avalanche come to a halt at the foot of the mountain. Don’t allow the fear to cascade down into the hearts and minds of our youths.
Franklin D. Roosevelt said in his inaugural address, “The only thing we have to fear is…fear itself – nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyses needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”
Our response as parents and citizens should be to convert retreat into advance.
Hindsight is always a perfect 20/20, but it does not paint a glorious vision of the future.
This blame game is putting the final nail in the coffin of the spirit of adventure and discovery, and burying the soul of challenge and curiosity.
If this inquest continues, it will cause our schools’ decision-makers and MOE’s policy-makers to play safe and coddle a fragile strawberry-generation.
So please put down the stones.
The decent thing to do now is to commemorate the dead, comfort the living and celebrate the heroes.