What is a tragedy?
President George Bush is visiting an elementary school today and he visits one of the classes (4th grade). They are in the middle of a discussion related to words and their meanings. The teacher asks the President if he would like to lead the class in the discussion of the word, “tragedy.”
So the illustrious leader asks the class for an example of a “tragedy.”
One little boy stands up and offers, “If my best friend, who lives next door, is playing in the street and a car comes along and runs him over, that would be a tragedy.”
“No,” says Bush, “that would be an ACCIDENT.”
A little girl raises her hand: “If a school bus carrying 50 children drove off a cliff, killing everyone involved, that would be a tragedy.”
“I’m afraid not,” explains Mr. President. “That’s what we would call a GREAT LOSS.”
The room goes silent. No other children volunteer. President Bush searches the room. “Isn’t there someone here who can give me an example of a “tragedy?”
Finally, way in the back of the room, a small boy raises his hand. In a quiet voice he says, “If an American Air Force plane, carrying Mr. & Mrs. Bush, were struck by a missile and blown up to smithereens, by a terrorist like Osamabin Laden, that would be a tragedy.”
“Fantastic,” exclaims Bush, “that’s right. And can you tell me WHY that would be a TRAGEDY?”
“Well,” says the boy, “because it wouldn’t be an accident, and it certainly would not be a great loss.”
This page was last updated August 1, 2003.