The year had just started, yet the world is already experiencing a lot of tragedies one after the other. Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, threats of war. But what happened today was something that I never expected would affect me, in some way.
The world has been shaken by the shocking news that the global icon and NBA Star, Kobe Bryant, has passed away so unexpectedly. He, along with his 13-year old daughter and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas City in California.
If you’re a fan of NBA and especially of Kobe, I think I understand how hard it might have been for you to believe this, considering it hasn’t been long since he retired. His best moments in the court are still very fresh in your memory. I’m pretty sure most of the world is still in denial even if it’s already been a day when this sad incident happened.
If you’re not an NBA fan but are somewhat surprised for feeling sad about what happened, I just wanna let you know that you’re not alone. I’m not a basketball fan but, of course, I know the NBA. And if you’re a non-basketball fan who knows the NBA, you have a very limited knowledge about the players which means you only know the best ones.
Back in the ’90s- when I was just around eight or nine years old- the whole NBA thing to me was just about Michael Jordan, and then the others. That’s because I really don’t watch the NBA but my cousins and other relatives do. And whenever they’d watch with the whole family, you just can’t help but join the hype, too. Whenever the Chicago Bulls would play, I’d watch because there’s MJ and I’d like to cheer for him even though I was totally ignorant about the sport.
Then one time, I heard the name Kobe Bryant from my cousin. He was already a solid fan of the Lakers star back then until now. When everyone else was praising MJ, he was idolizing somebody else. By that time, I got confused. I thought this whole family is all about Michael Jordan? Who the hell is Kobe?
When I got older and I’d listen to my schoolmates talk about NBA, it’s almost impossible not to hear Kobe Bryant’s name get mentioned. That’s how I became aware about his fame. Not because I’m a fan of his or that I watch the NBA, but simply because of how basketball fans talk about him all the time. It’s the name that people would shout when they’re about to throw something a few meters away from the trash bin.
Whether you’re a fan or a critic, you know that the name Kobe Bryant echoes throughout the globe because of his legendary achievements in the NBA and his remarkable passion for the sport. You don’t have to be a die-hard fan to feel sad about the news of his passing. Just knowing the fact that he’s an icon who worked hard, made a name for himself, and inspired many people in the world to pursue their dreams is enough for you to give him respect and look up to him. He has that power.
How and why did Kobe’s death affect me?
Two things. First, it’s just really surprising to know that a person who had just ended his career not too long ago and is still very famous is now gone- just like that. It’s even more frightening to think how helpless he might’ve felt to see his daughter get involved in that situation and he couldn’t do anything to get her out of it.
Second, it’s the fact that someone like Kobe- who everyone might think could afford all the best protection and security in the world- would be a victim of such a shocking incident. It suddenly made me think of how I’m spending my life everyday. This guy is finally spending most of his time with his family after retiring, yet he didn’t get to do it for very long. Kobe’s death reminded me to stop wasting my life away. That it’s about time I make a change for a better life before it’s too late.
So what? It could happen to anyone. A lot of ordinary people die that we don’t take notice. And he wasn’t the only one who died in the crash. Why should this be any different?
First of all, we definitely should also express our deepest condolences to the family and friends of all the other people who were involved in the incident. We pray that their souls may find peace. But it doesn’t mean that we’re picking the people to pay sympathy only because they’re popular and rich. We pay our respects to any human who lost their lives, but we normally would give more value to those who’ve made a huge impact in our lives when they were still living.
Kobe Bryant was someone who, through his talent, inspired people to play basketball. He was someone who motivated even non-basketball fans to pursue whatever dreams they have by showing us that anything is possible if we put our hearts into it. He traveled to different countries to coach and play with basketball fans, and gave motivational speeches telling people how to be good at whatever they do. His mere presence lifted up the spirits of those who looked up to him that they start to believe in themselves.
The inspiration that he spread is not limited to basketball fans, but to everyone who wishes to reach their dreams, achieve their goals, and not settle with being ordinary. That’s why the world mourned his death more than the others. To these people, Kobe was someone who left a significant mark in their lives. They express their sympathy for his tragic death because, in the first place, this was Kobe’s dream, too- To be known by many, and to let the world know that he’s not just a nobody.
He wanted people to remember him. And to achieve that dream, he worked hard. He never settled for “just enough”. He pushed himself to become one of the greatest- something that the majority of people in this world are afraid to do. That’s why many people admire him. He’s simply of the greatest people that are worth looking up to. Unsurprisingly, his untimely death shook the world just as much as he did while he was living.
Not all of us may admit it, but many of us wanna be that person. We want other people to look up to us for our achievements, be loved for the inspiration that we give, mourn our deaths, and be remembered and become part of history. It’s something that many of us secretly desire, but only a few of us have the heart to do what it takes to get there.
Life is never short. But it will always be unpredictable.
We always say “Life is short”. Is it really? Maybe we only feel that it’s short when we continue waste it on things that won’t take us anywhere. When Kobe passed away, the world was stunned. “Are you serious?” “Is this real?” “I can’t believe it!” Because of his fame, even his untimely death affected us so much that many of us started thinking about what really is important.
Kobe’s death shocked the world not only because he had millions of fans. His death also served as a reminder that we can really never tell what tomorrow brings. You wake up one morning, and you hear that a person who you used to see and hear about all the time is no longer here.
He may have not intended to, but Kobe, until his final moment, gave us a wake-up call that it’s time to do whatever we wanna do and live our lives to the fullest. Because we never know how long we’ll have the chance to.