today i read that a pram with a toddler, plus an older child, plus a man went into the water off a wharf in nsw last night. the three people died, and someone else who tried to help is in a critical condition.
apparently, the older boy may have accidentally pushed the pram into the water.
as i thought to myself what a tragedy, it reminded me of how people often misuse this word.
anything to do with sport, especially the australians losing the cricket, is NOT a tragedy.
shane warne retiring from cricket IS NOT A TRAGEDY.
ian thorpe not being able to swim at the athens olympics, is NOT a tragedy.
disappointment DOES NOT EQUAL TRAGEDY. even sadness does not necessarily equal tragedy.
the bali bombings, on the whole, were not a tragedy. if you, however, were someone who had battled and beaten cancer, say, and you were in the sari bar that night celebrating your remission, and got killed, that is kind of tragic. but if you were just some heavy-drinking punter out for some cheap bali pussy/beer/dvds/pool action, then that is not tragic. it's not right that you be killed by terrorists, and it's definitely sad for your family and friends but somehow, it's not tragic.
siev x was a tragedy.
a elderly man who steps in between his daughter and the mugger and gets knifed, that is a tragedy. something about his vulnerability, his bravery, his self-sacrifice. if the daughter had been on her own, gotten mugged and killed, to me, that's not so tragic, if at all.
the above incident with the young boys and father, is a tragedy. what makes it particularly tragic, if degrees there be, is that the young boy may have caused it all by pushing the pram. there has to be some chance involved, some real darkness, twist of fate or occasion. malice doesn't come into it. and i'm not even sure the traditional shakespearean human flaw can be seen as tragic, or causing what i would call tragedy.
for me, it's that little bit of extra something that makes your heart wrench when you hear about it, and you go oh no, how terrible.