I have been transfixed by the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 along with the rest of the world. It is frightening that something of that magnitude, carrying human cargo in such multitude, could have its connections to the rest of the world so quickly, absolutely, and mysteriously severed. It is frightening when governments show themselves inept. There are so many theories about the fate of that plane and I think the families of those onboard live every theory and feel all the pain associated with each. It's really terrible that we do not seem any closer to answers, and that the search area continues to expand.
One of the things I often think about, when tragedy strikes people of Chinese descent (of the 227 passengers, 153 were Chinese), is the One Child Policy and its unintended consequences. I often cannot stomach watching coverage of Chinese natural disasters such as the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan because I know how gut wrenching those stories will be. The One Child Policy has created a society whose familial ties are small and shrinking, with each generation's son or daughter having to provide for their parents and grandparents, with a pair of young spouses having to care for up to 8 elderly, with all the adults' hopes and dreams riding on a single precious child.
I don't voice this thought because I don't mean to belittle anyone's loss by implying that losing a child is in any way easier when you have more than one. Yet I cannot help but think that those with larger families will undoubtedly have a bigger net to fall into in times of despair. I cannot bear to think of the elderly Chinese who lose their barely adult children before they've borne them grandchildren. They are left with absolutely no one and are so so so alone.