A tragedy My father is
My father is a Presbyterian minister. As he was preparing for church this morning, I could tell something was disturbing him.
He said that there had been a head-on car accident in which the woman driving survived, but her two-year-old child died. The woman was reportedly beside herself and refused to speak to anyone. She was a friend of a member of our congregation, who had asked that she be included in our prayers.
My dad obviously felt sorry for the woman because loosing a child is a extraordinarily tragic experience, and it is part of my father's job to be emotionally sensitive.
However, my unconscious reaction to this story was not to become melancholy. I was not being apathetic. I genuinely
cared about the woman and her child, but for some reason it did not make me sad.
I was still standing in my dad's office, and I began to feel guilty
because I didn't feel bad. But then I had a realization, a mini-epiphany, if
you will - I thought of this tragedy on a much larger scale. Throughout the world, extraordinarily sad events, and amazingly happy events occur at any given moment. Perhaps as a survival mechanism, humans tend to be more acutely aware of, or focus on the negative. By not being depressed by this woman's story, I was not being apathetic or callous. I was attempting to focus more objectively on reality - recognizing that this was one of infinite tragic events in history, and that infinite happy events occur also.
I know I can never be absolutely emotionally detached, especially when something affects me personally. But perhaps I can regard my own personal tragedies (such as having two tests on the same day)
in this way so as to not get caught up in my day-to-day life, but remember the larger goals and purposes of my life.