What is a tragedy?

Bill Clinton is visiting a school. In one class, he asks the students if anyone can give him an example of a tragedy. One little boy stands up and offers, “If my best friend who lives next door was playing in the street when a car came along and killed him, that would be a tragedy.”

“No,” Clinton says, “That would be an accident.”

A girl raises her hand. “If a school bus carrying fifty children drove off a cliff, killing everyone involved… that would be a tragedy.”

“I’m afraid not,” explains Clinton. “That is what we would call a great loss.”

The room is silent; none of the other children volunteer. “What?” asks Clinton. “Isn’t there any one here who can give me an example of a tragedy?”

Finally, a boy in the back raises his hand. In a timid voice, he speaks: “If an airplane carrying Bill and Hillary Clinton were blown up by a bomb, that would be a tragedy.”

“Wonderful!” Clinton beams. “Marvelous! 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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