Tragedies and Appreciation

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Tragedies help us better appreciate what we have. I was watching The Good Liar, which I recommend by the way, and it struck me that losing family members to war or sickness was still common in the not too distant past.

It made me think that although my dad has died and other family members are terminally ill, if I were to be alive about 100 years ago, or even more recent, then that wouldn’t have been too much of a special thing. And perhaps more importantly, people just got on with their lives.

Don’t get me wrong, I try not to let my situation interfere with my life anyway, but this realisation has helped me better come to terms with things, which has made it easier to not dwell on bad thoughts when they come up. In turn, I think I’m better able to appreciate some things that others aren’t, and that appreciation leads to a fuller life.

My practical suggestions from this are two-fold. There’s an exercise in stoicism where you imagine your life without certain loved ones to increase your appreciation of their existence. It might be worth giving that a try. Second, know that even if a tragedy were to occur, it helps you better appreciate what you do have, and I think knowing this will make the recovery process that much easier.

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