Week 5 – Tragedy

Photographs from this theme would remind us of how easy it is for more or less good people to make small errors that end up unleashing catastrophe. Tragic art helps to remind us of how much compassion is required in order for a society to function humanely.

Tragedy Prompts: A photograph might…

  • show small errors that could lead to tragedy
  • teach us sympathy for others and fear for ourselves.
  • expand our humanity and make us less rigid, less judgmental
  • would move us beyond words like fool, weirdo, and loser, towards a more complex view of being human.
  • might show both chaos and order,
  • ying and yang,
  • might allow us to understand there is a balance between good and evil in all of us.

To join in on Instagram, use hashtag #7Lenses #tragedy and tag @7Lenses in the photo.

Excerpt from A Replacement for Religion on Tragedy


People do not reliably end up with the lives they deserve. 
There is no real justice in the way that rewards are distributed. 
We are subject to appalling whims of chance and ill luck.

We should embrace the idea of tragedy. 
We see that terrible things can and do befall lives.
A small mistake, a minor flaw can lead to horror:
Someone like us could be bankrupt, in jail or vilified in the press. 

We can fail and be good;
All the tragedies of others live in embryo in us. 

We need to be slower to judge and quicker to understand. 
Those who have failed are not ‘losers’.
We may soon be among them. 


*Excerpts from Chapter 4 & Chapter 6 in “A Replacement for Religion” by The School of Life.