One of the greatest tragedies in my life was the loss of my sister Sun due to ovarian cancer. Like a second mother to her siblings, Sun died too young and everyone she touched misses her dearly. While her death was a tragedy, I have used it as my greatest source of strength. Sun’s death has taught me about living, compassion, honesty, love, hope and faith, and it has given me the courage to pursue my dreams and passions.
We all have had tragedies in our lives, but how do we deal with them? Do we use them to make us resentful, angry, frustrated, depressed or, just the opposite, to learn, grow, and become wiser for it. As we may not realize it at first, tragedies can be the greatest blessings in disguises. They are the best teachers because they give us first-hand experience to learn, grow, and present the best opportunities to look inward and deeply reflect on our ourselves.
There are always two sides of a coin. Rather than looking at the negative side, how can you look at the other side and embrace tragedy to make positive changes in your life? I have a brilliant composer friend Leran, who is kind, honest, but a little too naive and trusting for his own good. He befriended a major crook who scammed Leran and stole thousands of dollars through credit card fraud. Because of this scam, Leran is now left with an astounding financial debt and liability, which he is trying to dissolve. Instead of being engulfed with anger, Leran has chosen to look at the scamming experience as his best education, an opportunity to learn and grow. His story has inspired me.
When tragedy occurs, there are always invaluable life lessons. You can evaluate the tragedy through constructive ways:
What happened in the tragedy? Objectively observe what took place in the tragedy. In the case of the Leran, he got scammed by a crook because he was just too trusting and naive.
What can you learn from the tragedy? Leran learned to be less naive, not to trust blindly, and to look for red flags. For example, the scammer promised a $375,000 annual composer salary, which was too good to be true, and asked Leran to sign credit card applications without question, all red flag signs Leran saw but ignored.
How can you improve yourself from the tragedy? Leran needed this hard lesson as a wake-up call. Living in his own naive cocoon world, Leran needed to break out of his shell. Through this tragedy, he wasn’t so sheltered any more, becoming more confident and independent.
What source of strength did you gain from the tragedy? Leran learned so much about himself: his own inner strength, resilience, and ability to manage life’s obstacles. As music is his passion, Leran used the tragedy to empower his music and learn important life lessons. Through the harrowing experience, he has discovered so much about himself he never knew.
Tragedies can be your best friend, not your enemy. So use your tragedies as your greatest source of light, rather than darkness. I deeply thank my sister Sun every day for the opportunity to learn and grow from her life and death. Her soul continues to watch over me and teaches me that our tragedies are part of this remarkable journey of life, and we can all be blessed by them.
By Moon Cho, Creator of Ying & Yang Living