The Weight of Tragedy

The Weight of Tragedy

Leila Stewart, Sports Editor







These five words have been dominating headlines. And unlike some other issues we have today in America, these are words that affect everyone. Whether it has an impact on our relatives, vacation plans, insurance bills, or our own communities and families, natural disasters- tragedies- are not something from which anyone can hide.


In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and the emergence of Hurricane Irma, Jose, and Maria, thousands of U.S. citizens have had to leave their homes, have had their neighborhoods damaged or destroyed, and have lost loved ones as 82 people have died due to Harvey and over 50 and counting because of Irma.


As we speak, the citizens of Puerto Rico are being hit by Hurricane Maria and over three million are without power and thousands of homes have been flooded. Over 30 deaths have already been documented.


We have learned firsthand that what we see on the news are not just statistics or another headline. These are people whose lives will be forever changed because of a circumstance outside of their control. There is a mother, a father, a daughter, or a son, who has lost a person in their life that they will never be able to get back.


In the wake of tragedy, the effects are not exclusive to one group of people. The hurricane does not skip over neighborhoods based on the family’s income and flood water does not go around a kind person’s home.


The harsh truth is that terrible things happen to good people all the time. Death, destruction, and conflict are not an unfamiliar sight to see on the news. However, no one could’ve imagined themselves to ever be in that type of situation. We naturally underestimate the power of the unknown.


At our school, we lucked out. We were able to safely return to the building and most of the neighborhoods districted to Clements were still able to function but that’s clearly not the case for everyone and we will never know the true impact of disasters until the time has come to face it.


In our country, the land of the free and the home of the brave, we are so constricted by expectations and are insecure about what sets us apart from one another. Perhaps we need these natural disasters to show us that we have more similarities than differences, and we shouldn’t be so intimidated by that. Regardless of a person’s political views, gender, race, sexual orientation, money, or power, we all have the risk of being hurt by a natural disaster. We all could lose or did lose everything.

I hope that this will be a wake-up call for everyone to put aside our prejudices and come together during the times that our country needs it the most. We should mourn the lives that we have lost but also learn to appreciate the people that are still living. Because if experiencing Hurricane Harvey has taught me anything, it’s that no matter how hard you get hit, you can always build yourself back up again.