I am sitting here pondering tragedy. As much as I speak and write about the positive side of life, tragedy will come at some point. An example of two tragic events that I have experienced recently happened in the lives of two close friends of mine. I went to a funeral on Tuesday for an eleven-year-old boy who passed away last week. A few months ago, another good friend’s little boy passed away. These are heavy events to deal with, but reality tells me that they happen, no matter how much we try to avoid them.
Many times in life I have intentionally sheltered myself from tragedies like these, as these moments can be almost too heavy to handle. As you know, joyous times are much easier to deal with. You will never get to the end of your life and say, “You know, I wish I wouldn’t have been so happy. It was such a waste.” But, the reality is that we are given relationships for the opportunity to travel alongside friends both to the mountaintops in life, and down into the valleys of tragedy. This also applies for the relationships that you build along the way — people will have the opportunity to travel mountaintops and valleys with you, as well.
There will be things that come into your life that you never planned for, whether we are talking about tragic events in your business, or the tragedy that will happen within your day-to-day relationships. But, there’s hope. I have looked from the outside in to see how others have dealt with tragedy, and have been amazed at how some people are able to find grace in the midst of the pain. When people lose a child, or lose all their money in their business, or whatever the case may be, they can somehow make it through. What’s the difference between people who lose all hope and others who don’t? It is a few things, but the main thing that has stood out between all of these individuals is their unbridled determination in the midst of tragedy. These people have realized that tragedy is just another part of life, just as much as the joyous times are. They see that beauty can always be found, no matter where they have found themselves. Yes, tragedy comes, which I will never diminish the magnitude of, but even more powerful is the experience of restoration — the mountaintop after the experience of tragedy.