Yesterday, the world watched in horror as the famous Notre Dame Cathedral burned. 107 years ago, to the day, the world read how the “unsinkable” Titanic had hit an iceberg in its maiden voyage and claimed many lives. These monumental losses and destruction of majestic and beautiful structures were nothing short of tragic.
People cried out their heartbreak. Early in the day yesterday, many posted historical articles and images of the Titanic, but as the later events unfolded, those who could say they had seen the cathedral posted pictures from their visit.
Losses like the Titanic and Notre Dame hit us harder than most because they represent something pure, magnificent, and beautiful. They represent the rare situations where beauty is not simply in the eye of the beholder; it is absolute.
As with every other tragedy, the world will mourn for a few weeks. But we cannot mourn forever, because there will be more losses ahead – there always are. We simply can’t hold that much pain indefinitely.
At risk of sounding cold-hearted, there is another approach we must take. While everyone keeps posting about how sad they are, these aren’t the words most people will utter and they aren’t what anyone wants to hear. That does not make them less true. I’m sorry you’re sad, but I’m also sorry that no one has had the courage to say this yet.
Nothing in this world is meant to last. Nothing.
From the day we are born, we know there will be an end. We hoard up money and things, all the while knowing we don’t get to take them with us. Buildings fall, ships sink, treasures get destroyed, people die.
This is just another one of those things that couldn’t last forever. It’s sad, but true. I’m not saying this to hurt anyone.
There is a message here, one of hope for the future. Maybe we should be treasuring something different.