Bizarre deaths and the gift of life

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Mata'afa Keni Lesa

This much we are sure of. Today is a gift and tomorrow is the unknown.

We only have to read the front-page story of yesterday’s Samoa Observer to be reminded about this again and again. Under the headline “Bizarre tragedies probed,” the story talked about three deaths, which occurred on three separate occasions within the space of one day.

From what we’ve been told, these deaths should make us all sit down and think.

We should be asking the question of what is going on in Samoa today? What is wrong with some people in this country? Have common sense, decency and morals deserted some people that badly?

According to Police sources, the first is truly bizarre. It involves a man in his 40s who caught a taxi to Lauli’i. 

“When the taxi arrived in Lauli’i, the passenger took off running without paying his taxi fare,” we were told. 

“Bystanders in the village went after him and brought him back to the taxi. The man was placed in the trunk of the taxi, and the taxi driver drove to the Police station to report the passenger for not paying his fare. 

“However upon arrival, the man was found dead in the trunk of the taxi.” 

Seriously? Why would people stuff a living human being in the boot of a car? What were they thinking? 

If you thought that was tragic, then the next case is even worse. This one involves a 44-year-old man of Vaitele fou who had drinks with another man.

“Around 2am,” we were told, “the 44-year-old man started to make unreasonable noises and it’s alleged the suspect got into his car and ran over the victim. He died due to the severity of the injuries he sustained.”

Again, this killing absolutely boggles the mind. We accept that alcohol was involved and that alcohol does stupid things to certain people but to get in a car and drive over another living soul is beyond me. It’s beyond comprehension.

And then there is the third death. This time a man in his 40s who was overly intoxicated causing self-harm.

“The man from Lotofaga who was drunk, was apparently upset about something, he started smashing the louvers of his house and in doing so, sustained severe cuts on his hands. 

“He was then taken to the hospital and was later pronounced dead because he lost so much blood.”

Ladies and gentlemen, these are stories of today. These things are happening in Samoa as we speak. They are tragic, bizarre and they don’t reflect well on this country at all. These deaths are a waste of lives.

Think of all the people at the hospital who are fighting to live. Think of the doctors and nurses working hard to keep many people alive. And then think of the total disregard some people have for human lives – in these cases we’ve highlighted today. It’s sad.

On the other hand, as we sit down this weekend, let’s appreciate the fact we are safe, sound, alive and well. You see, despite all the money, the intelligence and the confidence in the world, no one knows what the next ten minutes of life might bring. We live in a world where we are here this minute and gone the next. It’s instant. That’s how life can quickly change. 

Which means we must never take a moment for granted. 

We must learn to count our blessings, appreciate the gift of life, love the people near us and even the challenges that make us better people. 

The thing about death is that it is unpredictable. While from the scriptures we are told that death is a divine appointment, the fact is we are not given a time so this should make us appreciate every day even more. For we never know. It could be tomorrow, next year or another 10 years from now, we just never know.

Which brings me back to the point of this piece. We must never take anything for granted. We must learn to appreciate everything in our lives – especially the people that matter the most. We don’t know when they will be taken from us.

Have a restful weekend Samoa, God bless!

© Samoa Observer 2016

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