Beyond Tragedy

What do we make of two of the major tragedies that occurred in the US this past week?  One in which two men violently ripped into the vulnerable flesh of people who wanted nothing more than to enjoy a day of peace and joy (as well as the rush to judgement based on superficial factors and no evidence that followed).  The other, in which 46 mostly men refused to pass legislations supported by a vast majority of the US public, that would go a long way towards helping to address the threat of violence in our nation, all to appease the vocal (and well financed) few who think that owning a gun equals freedom.  How do we make sense of these events?

The answer is that we can’t.  There is no analysis that can encompass these tragedies, or any of the other tragedies that occurred in the world over the last several days.  There is no theoretical outlook that will wrap them up in a nice package and tell us what to do or how to move forward.  The world is messy, and every attempt to explain the mess only adds to it (pdf).

Nevertheless, do something and move forward we must.  Time doesn’t stop for us, and everything we do – even if it’s nothing – makes a difference.  So what do we do?  How do we move forward?  The answer is we work – or better yet, we struggle.  Always in collaboration with others, always trying to make a better world for everyone.  We may never put a stop to these kinds of senseless events, but, the more we struggle, and the more we accept that the struggle is the end and that there is no end to the struggle – the more we renew these moments of collaboration, peace, and caring – the more likely we will be to one day find ourselves, all of a sudden, living in a peaceful and just world.  “We cannot reason ourselves out of our basic irrationality.  All we can do is learn the art of being irrational in a reasonable way” (Huxley).

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