I am a regular reader of the The Writer's Almanac by Garrison Keillor. A few days ago I learned about Euripides. His philosophy is summed up in part as follows. "Tragedy isn't getting something or failing to get it, but it's losing something you already have." This revelation resonated with me in many ways.
In the physical realm I am no longer in the mode of achieving great success in my piano playing or clarinet playing or becoming a competent tree skier, or even raising my tennis to another level. I accept that these are not tragedies, but I do see a tragedy down the road when I will likely reach a time when I will be unable to ski with the confidence I once had. I don't want to play down the incentive to try new things in life, but I am truly ready to accept my limitations and attempt to hold onto things that are dear to me.
In the larger world of the state of our United State of America I am deeply troubled by what we seem to be losing in our society. We tragically have lost the sense of mutual care and respect. Our nation has been taken down the path of divisiveness by our leadership. Respectful norms of behavior have been trashed. Leadership has chosen name calling and denigration over grace and charity. Democracy as we have known it is perilously in danger of being destroyed. If Euripides was around he would say, "You fools, why have you allowed this to happen?" Meanwhile I struggle to maintain hope for a new day where the tragic sacrifice of 200,000 lives to incompetence and cruelty will be replaced by compassion and care. Contrary to what Euripides said, unless we do get democracy restored in our nation it will be an enormous tragedy.