Tragedy has to do with coming to ruin, extreme sorrow, the disastrous, the calamitous. Does this not describe human existence exactly? As a human being we are fraught with anxiety about our survival, our identity, our status, our possessions and our relationships; we suffer horrible diseases of body and mind; we lose those we dearly love; and then we die, each one of us. Is that not coming to ruin? Is such an existence not filled with sorrow? Is this not the story of disaster and calamity?
So what can you and I do when we become aware that human life, our life is tragic? What are our options?
We can despair and curse our existence. Or we can delude ourselves by turning our back on the glaring evidence and fight for as much pleasure, comfort, status and power as possible. Or we can have compassion for ourselves and everyone we encounter, acknowledging their and our own suffering and vowing to relieve as much of it as possible, bringing into being the miracles of peace and happiness.
I choose the latter. By acknowledging and accepting the universal nature of impermanence, suffering and inter-being, we can literally transform our relationship to our lives and to our relationships. We can turn tragedy into treasure, sorrow into sustenance, disaster into determination and calamity into calmness.
Nothing life brings can separate us from the ecstatic gift of being alive for this precious moment. Let's celebrate truth, beauty and love. Let's champion justice for all. Let’s practice kindness and generosity rather than living out of fear, anger, hatred and greed.
This is our chance. Let’s live our lives with abandon and passion. What do we have to lose?