I remember the classroom was small and always hot. The day I recall the must is when the teacher thought us numbers meant nothing. “It’s impossible for us to really understand great numbers, he said, if we hear 700 it’s like we have heard nothing, because the amount is so big the brain can only see it us a number and nothing else, so every piece of humanity gets lost in that process”. Then he showed us the profiles the New York Times did after 9/11 about the victims. Probably we read one or two, and when the class was over he said to us: be sure to always look for humanity, in the end that’s the only thing that matters.
Today, I understood why. After the morning of November 28th, wherever one looks can find the name “Chapecó” surrounded by numbers and complicated words that are there trying to shape a painful and chaotic tragedy. Probably we will remember those things in the next five or six months, but I’m sure as the time passes by the only thing that will remain of this huge pile of information are the little things.
Our memories won’t keep the overwhelming number of deaths, instead we will remember the 5 minutes distance there was between the plane crash and the airport. It’s not the lost of a whole soccer team what will make us feel like crying, but the story of that one player who only the night before had found out we was going to be a dad. It’s not the uncountable screams of the whole crew that will rumble in our ears, but that exact second when the pilot, Miguel Quiroga, told the air traffic controller: “we need to land, this is an emergency”.
After a while, of the numbers, we will know nothing, but of the little things we will never forget. I guess it is because there is something in them that remind us of how hopeless we are before the unquestionable fragility of life.