We were shocked to learn of the economist John Nash’s death over the weekend during our trip to Ohio and Kentucky. I first learned of Nash during one of my economics courses in high school, then again during college, and of course, when the movie A Beautiful Mind came out during my high school days. When I learned of Nash’s genius and how he suffered from schizophrenia, I had thought about my brother then and thought that it was possible my brother did have a future. John Nash could get through it and persevere, therefore so could my brother! At the time, Ed was not exhibiting any schizophrenic symptoms, but he did have some of these symptoms toward the end of his life. They had mental illness in common.
The most tragic part of Nash’s and his wife’s deaths was that from what the reports have stated, they could still be alive today if they were just wearing seat belts in the cab they took from the airport. It made me shudder to read about the seat belt detail in the articles, as I thought back to a small handful of times when I’ve been in a New York City cab, and for some reason, the seat belt fastener either was not there or not working. I’ve been pretty diligent since I was young about always wearing a seat belt. It was drilled into my head by both of my parents (to this day, my mother still asks when I am in the car, “Did you buckle your seat belt?”), and then again during my mandatory driver training course in high school, where we had to watch test crash videos of dummies in car crashes wearing versus not wearing seat belts. Like when Dave Goldberg died earlier this month and I thought about him falling off his treadmill every time I got onto a gym treadmill in the weeks following, when I think about being in a car now, I think about seat belts, as I did tonight during our car ride home from LaGuardia.