An emergency alert notification was sent out to all of Hawaii on Saturday, Jan. 15., evoking panic and affecting everyone involved.
The emergency alert read, “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”
The warning was immediately deemed a mistake, and the governor of Hawaii claimed that an employee pushed the wrong button. The man intended to press “Test missile alert” instead of “Missile alert,” as the drop-down menu contained only these two options.
This false warning, a simple error, ensured immediate panic as thousands of people began to assess their lives and belongings, some even saying their goodbyes to family members and friends.
Those affected believed the worst for an excruciatingly long 38 minutes, the time it took for the second alert explaining the false alarm to come.
A poorly designed menu page and an oversight orchestrated a small error that, in turn, had large repercussions.
How often do we realize that one miniscule mistake has the ability to turn a life, or multiple lives, completely around? How often do we recognize that one little slip can cause an eruption, a tidal wave, a disaster?
We, as humans, hold so much power in our words, our actions and our beliefs. Everything we do and are is taken into account. How we conduct ourselves, the manner in which we speak and the ways in which we interact with the world have so much potential, good and bad.
Most of us were taught from a young age that if we don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all. The golden rule is embedded into our minds, but is it embedded into our hearts?
Most of us were also taught that our actions speak louder than words, but that actions have consequences. Do we believe this? More importantly, do we care?
One mean word, one wrong turn, one false alarm can spark so much hurt, so much pain. In turn, one compliment, one positive gesture has the ability to encourage others and promote positivity, promote togetherness.
Mistakes are reality. We live in a fallen world. Sin is real. But that doesn’t mean that we take that with a grain of salt, that we should say, “Oh well. It’s inevitable.”
The false alarm in Hawaii was a mistake, a simple, yet monstrous mistake.
Be aware of your faults, your actions and your words. They are important. You hold so much power within yourself and your abilities. Don’t take that lightly. It’s important, and you’re important. Mistakes are inevitable, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t care about them.
How will you use your potential?