This week I read the news that three aircraft missing for 76 years have been found by a nonprofit that does this kind of work. The 3 planes from WW2 were lost fighting in the western Pacific in February of 1944, and their families have been wondering ever since. It’s exciting news because another of the many mysteries in the world have been solved, and it’s a victory for the families to finally know where their loved ones have rested for many years. But as the article reminded, it’s such a bittersweet victory because yes something that has been missing has been found, but it’s the grave for these 7 crew members.
I’m a big Titanic fan (not the movie, the boat) and that’s one of the things that the people who found the Titanic have always talked about in the interviews they’ve done and is seen in the film from the day the found the ship: that parallel with the excitement of finding the boat that had been lost, is the fact that they just found the grave of more than 1,500 people. It’s a very sobering reality and difficult work to be in.
Sometimes this is the way victories are. It doesn’t make the achievement any less of a victory, and in some cases it becomes a more important victory because of the tragedy or sadness or struggle surrounding it and the peace and/or knowledge you’re able to share with someone. It’s not easy doing the work of investigating crimes, looking for lost and possibly deceased bodies, or searching for lost ships and planes, but all of those people play an important role in our world, one that shouldn’t be taken for granted or disregarded.
It doesn’t matter how long it takes, how many teams have to work on it, if there’s some pain involved, or the resource cost, some victories are just worth it. And when it comes to getting answers for those who don’t have them, those victories are worth working on a little harder and longer. As you consider your victories and the work you’re doing this week, I encourage you to think about the bigger picture and all the lives that you can positively impact through what you’re doing, and the contribution you can make to the world. It may not seem big like finding a lost ship or plane, but to someone it might be the world.