|03-14-2007, 05:24 AM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Mar 2007
Making sense of tragedies
Since throwing myself whole-heartedly into PD and embracing a lot of ideas, some of which have I have resisted and all that have made complete sense to me... I still struggle with what role "tragedies" play in my life. I think I need to hear others feelings on the matter to at least grow some kind of sense of understanding how I might feel about it. Right now, I don't know how to look upon or think about tragic events.
I'll share with you the event that brings questions to me. Today, there was a car accident on a highway in the province which I used to call home-- there was a head on collision of a truck with semi. The truck was carrying a 3 month old and its mother. The father/spouse happened upon the scene on his way home from work. The baby had died, and the mother was critically injured.
Now, this doesn't affect me personally but it evokes emotion in me because, first of all I have two kids of my own so the thought of losing a child weighs heavy on me when I think of someone else going through it; and also because the whole incident is so tragic.
Of course there have been other tragedies that have affected me even more but, amidst all the wonderful things that have been going on, I saw this on the news and found myself wiping tears from my eyes while watching this piece. And that got me to wondering about how others handle these things in life, and what your thoughts on them were?
How do you deal with all the "tragedies" in your life(I attach this tag to them because I don't know what else to call them). How do you consider them in the overall picture. If anyone could shed any light, share any thoughts or feelings... it would be greatly appreciated. I hope my questions make some kind of sense.
|03-14-2007, 05:57 AM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
I have a fairly strong opinion on the subject, which will be in the minority. But it's good to get a variety of opinions.
IMO tragedies will be a constant or occasional companion for each of us throughout our lives. We cannot avoid it. The only question is how we will react to it. Will our adversities be stumbling blocks or stepping-stones? It's possible that we came to mortal life to encounter resistance. Could it have been part of the plan for our "eternal" progression? Without temptation, sickness, pain, and sorrow, there could be no goodness, virtue, appreciation for well-being, or joy.
Sydney J. Harris (from the Chicao Daily News) wrote:
“I walked with my friend, a Quaker, to the newsstand the other night, and he bought a paper, thanking the newsie politely. The newsie didn’t even acknowledge it.
“ ‘A sullen fellow, isn’t he?’ I commented.
“ ‘Oh, he’s that way every night,’ shrugged my friend.
“ ‘Then why do you continue to be so polite to him?’ I asked.
“ ‘Why not?’ inquired my friend. ‘Why should I let him decide how I’m going to act?’
“As I thought about this incident later, it occurred to me that the important word was ‘act.’ My friend acts toward people; most of us react toward them. He has a sense of inner balance which is lacking in most of us; he knows who he is, what he stands for, how he should behave. He refuses to return incivility for incivility, because then he would no longer be in command of his conduct”
I like that example because it challenges each of us to focus our attention on the individual responses we must make to the personal adversities that are sure to hound us throughout our lives. Our responses will inevitably shape our souls.
If you're "religious" at all.... opposition is divinely decreed for the purpose of helping us to grow and we have the assurance of God that in the long view of eternity it will not be allowed to overcome us if we persevere in faith. We will prevail. Like the mortal life of which they are a part, adversities are temporary. What is permanent is what we become by the way we react to them.
|03-14-2007, 06:10 AM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Mar 2007
Thankyou for the reply Annie! I really appreciate it.
And it really does resonate with me. Because I have always felt that way on one level or another, in regard of living with the choice of action or reaction. Having faced my fair share of trials,I reacted most of my life while counselling others to act upon their tragedies, to use them as stepping stones to bettering themselves.
I understand what you mean and I think it's... internalizing and choosing to make the most of it in a positive way? To letting ourselves grow from the experience and to choose positive action from that point on. I think I'm on the path that I need to be, stumbling sometimes but for the most part I manage to get back to where I need to be. Thankyou again!
|03-14-2007, 07:01 AM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has done some interesting research on people who encountered tragic accidents. I cannot remember the exact details but it goes something like this:
the study focused on handicapped people who had just lost their limbs in accidents.
The results of the study showed that in most cases, eight or nine months after the accident, the person would rate himself as no happier and no sadder than he had been, prior to the accident taking place.
In a few cases, the person would rate himself as happier than he had been, prior to the accident taking place.
|03-14-2007, 12:55 PM||#5 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jan 2007
The longer I live and the more I see and hear, the less I believe in any kind of 'grand scheme', i.e. a god force, a universal plan for each of us individually, etc. I think that if we choose to allow it, tragedies can offer us an incredible opportunity for growth and personal understanding. I have been listening to Eckhart Tolle and he basically says that getting very low in life can offer a 'short cut' to enlightenment because it puts a lot of pressure on you to DO something. But I don't think that we are offered tragedies and challenges in a particular plan to aid us to become enlightened. That just feels so egocentric to me. I have always felt like that, even before I started studying how our attachment to ego effects us. So, the 'role' a tragedy plays in our lives is for us to decide. YOU choose the lessons you are going to learn, no one (not even a divine force) can choose them for you. Maybe that is the key to subjective reality. Not that we actually 'create' our reality; but that we create what we get out of our reality.
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