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Every moment is the most important moment

Reflecting in the wake of tragedy

Celebrities At The Los Angeles Lakers Game Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

When I sat down to put together a post for today, it didn’t feel right to be writing about baseball.

Yes, I could have perused some Statcast databases, dug up findings about this or that pitcher’s curveball spin rate, and voilà, but that article would be the same were it written tomorrow or the day after that or a month from now.

What this is not is a post about Kobe Bryant. I am not going to attempt to unpack the debate surrounding his legacy on the court, the 2003 sexual assault case, and everything in between in a couple hundred words in a blog post on the internet.

What I do know is that sports were no small part of my childhood. As somebody who I would venture to guess is younger than the average Viva El Birdos reader, Bryant is the first athlete I watched growing up whose influence transcended sports into our broader cultural fabric–and the first to suddenly be gone.

I also know that life is cruel and the furthest thing from fair. A helicopter crash this past Sunday took nine lives, but it also took nine mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, and daughters from their families, and my heart goes out to all overtaken by unimaginable grief.

It is a shame that we only reflect on just how much we take for granted in the wake of tragedy, when it is oftentimes a mere moment too late to remind those we love just how much we love them.

We are all vulnerable to the sudden twists that life may throw our way in the blink of an eye, but that is precisely what makes it so beautiful. For better or worse, any given moment could be one that changes the complexion of the rest of our lives, and there is nothing we can to do to control that.

I recently saw a video clip from a 2008 Kobe Bryant interview, and more than any highlight package from his 81-point game or iconic NBA farewell, this soundbite resonated with me.

Have a good time. Enjoy life. Life is too short to get bogged down and be discouraged. You have to keep moving. You have to keep going. Put one foot in front of the other, smile, and just keep on rolling.

So I leave you to the rest of your Tuesday morning with that sentiment in mind. Life is too short. There will be times when life brings us joy and laughter and times when life brings us sorrow and tears and times when we are confused and don’t know what to think.

I don’t have anything extraordinarily profound to say, only that we should use the limited time we have to appreciate the gifts we have been given. Those gifts could be a talent or passion, but, most importantly, don’t wait for the headlines to prompt you to be grateful for the loved ones that make our lives the thrilling adventures they are. If there is anything to take away from this piece, it is to make the most of every opportunity you have, to enjoy life with the people closest to your heart.