COLUMN: Life is short, but it should never be this short

Former Ohio State star and NFL first-round draft pick Dwayne Haskins died Saturday. He was 24.

Haskins was struck by a vehicle Saturday morning, according to Florida Highway Patrol. The crash occurred around 6:37 a.m. Florida Highway Patrol believes Haskins was trying to cross traffic lanes on foot when he was struck by a vehicle. A traffic homicide investigation is open.

I tend to think a lot about mortality. It’s something that we all have to face one day and I really am working hard on trying to accept that fact. To be very honest with you, I struggle with that acceptance. Who wants to accept that? This is all we know. It’s all we’ve ever known. I want it to last forever. We all do.

You know, if I had a written contract sitting right in front of me right now that said:

“Hey Chad. You’re going to live to be 100 years old and you’ll never battle or face any negative health issues. You’re going to float through life being happy, healthy and being loved immensely. You’ll never be rich, you’ll work for everything you have and things will be challenging in that regard. But, you’ll live to be 100 and grow old with your family. We have a deal?”

I’d sign on the dotted line in a heartbeat. That would make life a lot easier to understand, and ultimately accept. I always try to live by the motto:

“Control what you can control.

That’s just it, though. The things that we don’t control, the things that we don’t know, the uncertainty of this life is what can really mess with your mind. It messes with mine, at least. You know how difficult it was for me to sit on an airplane for the first time? Knowing I had zero control over that airplane, I got drunk in the airport and on the plane to kill my nerves so I could relax. We want control in this life. It gives us a sense of security. Whether it be real or false.

Dwayne Haskins was three years younger than me, and he was much more successful than myself and anybody that I personally know. At 24 years old, you think you have the whole world in front of you and by and large, most people that age do. I talk to people like my parents, older people in my community that I know and I talk to them about how I’ve lost numerous classmates and we’re not even at our 10 year reunion yet. Think about this for a second. I am 27 years old and I need more than two hands to count the number of people that I went to school with that have passed away. That’s not normal. It bothers me.

We are seeing it everywhere in the world right now:

The 9 members of the University of the Southwest golf team that was killed in a car accident returning from a golf tournament.

The 6 high school students from Oklahoma killed in an accident while driving on a lunch break.

The 14 year old kid who was thrown from a thrill ride in Orlando.

The 13 year old kid who was killed in Aruba while boating.

These are all young, promising lives that were snatched all from tragic accidents. Kids who were just living their life. All of them having fun and doing something that brought them joy. Playing golf, going for a drive while on lunch, getting on a roller coaster with your friends, getting on a boat with your parents on vacation. 100% normal, everyday things. How can something so natural, enjoyable end in such devastation?

The truth is, these things can happen to any one of us. We need to be more thankful. We need to be more aware. We need to be kind to one another. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow. It doesn’t matter if you have $100 million dollars, or $100 dollars. Death does not discriminate. The sword truly hangs over us all.

Another saying that I like to live by is:

“When it’s your time, it’s your time.”

Absolutely. I’m thinking exactly what you are thinking. Why was it time for a 24 year old professional athlete to be hit by a dump truck on a Florida interstate? Why was it time for a group of college athletes to be hit by a 13-year-old driver and killed instantly? Why was it time for a group of high school girls to be killed in a car accident? How does this make any sense at all? It doesn’t. Don’t even try to make sense of it.

Yes, life is short, but it is also brutally unfair.

Life is a beautiful gift from God to cherish and value every minute we get. Life is not at all about materialistic things. It is our happiness and peace that matters. Time is an inseparable component of life. Valuing your time adds meaning to your life. Hence you need to make every moment count by living your best. Life is short. Have fun. Be grateful. Be yourself. Don’t allow others to bring you down. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Life is a one time offer.

May we all learn to be better, for that is the reason we are here.

Life is short, but it should never be this short. 

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: