Tony Abbott was visiting a primary school and he visited one of the classes. They were in the middle of a discussion related to words and their meanings. The teacher asked Mr Abbott if he would like to lead the discussion on the word “tragedy”.
So Tony asked the class for an example of a “tragedy”.
One little boy stood up and offered: “If my best friend, who lives on a farm, is playing in the field & a tractor runs over him and kills him, that would be a ‘tragedy’.
“No,” said Tony, “that would be an accident.”
A little girl raised her hand: “If a school bus carrying fifty children drove over a cliff, killing everyone inside, that would be a Tragedy.”
“I’m afraid not,” explained Tony, “that’s what we would call a great loss.”
The room went silent. No other children volunteered.
Tony searched the room.
“Isn’t there someone here who can give me an example of Tragedy?”
Finally, at the back of the room, a small boy raised his hand.
In a quiet voice he said: “If the Air plane carrying you and Mr Hockey was struck by a “friendly fire” missile & blown to smithereens, that would be a tragedy.”
“Fantastic!” exclaimed Tony. “That’s right. And can you tell me why that would be tragedy?”
“Well,” says the boy “it has to be a tragedy, because it certainly wouldn’t be a great loss and it probably wouldn’t be an accident either!”