How Do We Handle Tragedy?

Friday, 25 June, 2021 - 5:49 pm

Although I deeply enjoy the work I do, there is one thing that challenges me more than anything else: comforting people in times of tragedy. I’m human too (yes, believe it or not) and most of the time I don’t have words either. I don’t have wisdom to offer every time something terrible takes place and I certainly have no inkling as to why G-d chooses that such tragedies take place.
The horrific collapse of the condo building in Florida early yesterday morning leaves us questioning. Why? How? It’s unfair!
When tragedy strikes we have to reflect about how we can change for the better as a result of this event. How can we each add in positivity and light to make this world a better place?
Silence is an excellent immediate response to tragedy. But following the silence there must be action. Action that we can immediately implement.
Questions like “why did this happen?” or “how did this happen?” or “what caused it to happen?” or even “how can we prevent it in the future?” are mostly questions for law enforcement, politicians, health care professionals - or perhaps, G-d. But none of them are in my direct control.
While I may not have anything to say, I know that blame, bickering and hatred are not solutions. Regardless of how emotional one may get by events around us - or even those that happen to us directly - divisiveness has never healed anyone.
Emotion can be positive when it motivates us to do more than we may have otherwise. However, when that emotion is misdirected toward things over which we have no immediate direct control, we’re wasting a precious opportunity to better the world.
The only directly relevant question that I need to immediately ask - and answer - is, what can I do? I can add positivity in my personal life. I can be more cognizant of what is happening to those around me. I can stop and help when I see someone in need. I can volunteer to help those who are hurting.
There are so many things that we can immediately do, today, in the wake of tragedy. What will you do?

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