I was eight years old, sitting in the den watching the T.V. when my mother flew by me in a fit of rage with her bags packed and a determined yet sad look on her face. My father was nowhere around, and I sat and watching breathlessly as she slowly opened the sliding glass door, stepped out, and closed the door on me and the rest of my family. Living with me were my sister and my dad, both of who were gone that night. Even though my mother left us, I’m still glad I have one in the first place, because I know that there are those far worse off than I am. Growing up with that image in my mind, the image of my mother leaving, caused me to focus more, to think more about life and how I want it to go for me.
Tragedy is involved in everyone’s life, all at different degrees. I’ve met plenty of people who have come from single -or no- parent homes, strong-willed kids wanting to learn and to live, to share their life with the world and to help change it. The tragedy involved in life teaches people to think critically, teaches them how to find what is wanted and to reach for it. It creates loss, but without realizing it, it creates much more than that in return.
The ability to think critically, to think through the actions I commit and weigh not only the pros and cons, but to be able to factor in the people involved and what they’d want, it’s the strongest, most important ability I have. It’s the ability to hold back from saying a single word when my best friend proposes to the girl he loves and she hands him back the ring. It’s proper consideration for the world and its inhabitants that freely think, as well as the ones that don’t. I rose above the challenge put before me at the time; I overcame my tragedy. Some of the most profound people of not only this generation, but centuries before us have been through such simple things which impacted their life and the way they think. The parents of the lead singer of Nirvana, Kurt Cobain, divorced when he was eight; Franz Kafka, writer of The Metamorphosis and The Trial, witnessed both of his younger brothers die before they reached 2 years old, and his sisters died at the hands of Hitler in the Holocaust. Tragedy comes quickly enough in life, but it’s best for the human race to handle it with care and to treat it like a challenge. All things are done differently, from figuring out what to do when you’re a single parent to how to stop your best friends drug addiction, but with the right passion and the right experiences, there’s never a ceiling.
What defines a human is who we choose to be. Tragedy is just another step to help us make that decision, to help us find out what we want with life. Tragedy builds character, this I believe.
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