The Tragedy of Tragedies

When catastrophe strikes, we try to think how to prevent it in the future.  The problem is, nothing can prevent tragedies.  It is a part of life that we have forgotten in a civilized world.

The first thing we try to do is explain why something like this happened.  Why did a wildfire take out thousands of acres and homes?  Why did someone shoot up school/office/church/restaurant?  Why did the ship sink?  Why did the plane crash?  Some of those answers are pretty easy to answer.  Some idiot started a camp fire during the dry season.  The person was mentally unstable.  The ship hit an iceberg.  The plane lost power due to faulty wiring.

The next question we have is how to prevent it.  The simple answer is we cannot.  There will always be idiots who start fires during the dry season.  There will always be mentally unstable people.  There will always be storms, mechanical fatigue, and human nature.

Technology has become so good that we can cure many diseases and prevent a lot of deaths; however, we will all die at some point.  I do not like that fact any more than the next person, but we forget the realities.  Hundreds of years ago, old was forty.  Now, old is eighty.  We have forgotten how to embrace life and lost the knowledge that tragedy can happen at any time.  The only difference between then and now is that in 1565, the next city probably never heard about the “crazy” person that shot fifteen people with a bow for apparently no reason at all.

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