Hell is Other People

I have been thinking a lot lately about what tragedy is in our modern times. We hear that word pushed and pulled around regularly; it is almost impossible to make it through an hour's newscast without hearing that word bandied about. But are the certainly unfortunate, miserable experiences of day to day life actually tragic, or just a set of seriously crappy circumstances imposed by other people? I wholeheartedly believe that major natural disasters (for example) are really terrible occurrences...but consider that the majority of the "human impact" and death isn't caused by the disaster itself, but by the situation some people have been put in as a result of the actions of others. And if that is the case, then really, the situation was able to be remedied or avoided. Albeit not an easy avoidance, but a possible option exists nonetheless.

This is on a major scale...but even on the micro, personal level we inflict pain and suffering on others daily. People trust others because you need to in order to survive, and yet these people we trust turn and change, and hurt us irreperably time and time again. Yet we need to have hope, and learn to trust again...otherwise the only remaining state is one of despair. Hope that true connection, true care for another being is possible and will happen....and willingness to risk being hurt again for the chance of a true connection occurring.

With this understanding, do we not need theatrical tragedy even more than before, to help us manage and clarify our existence? Theatrical models of tragedy show us the inevitability of events, our helplessness to impact our surroundings at time, however rather than leaving us bleak and despairing, they forge a connection for us and reinforce that hope which is so vital to our existence.