Accident, Tragedy or Great Loss
- Thursday, June 24, 2004
Former President Bill Clinton is visiting an elementary school today trying to give copies of his book away. He visits one of the classes. They are in the middle of a discussion related to words and their meanings. The teacher asks the the former President if he would like to lead the class in the discussion of the word, "tragedy." So our former 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," not feeling the young man's pain, says Clinton, "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. Clinton. "That's what we would call a GREAT LOSS."
The room goes silent. No other children volunteer. The former president 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 when, you were President, and on Air Force One, carrying you and Mrs. Clinton, and it was struck by a missile and blown up to smithereens, that would be a tragedy.
"Fantastic," exclaims Clinton, "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 be no great loss."
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