Which is the Greatest Tragedy?

Which is the Greatest Tragedy?
In the United States of America we officially recognize and observe the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. on the third Monday of January every year. Many people all around the world are familiar with the non-violent protests and related efforts spearheaded by this activist which ultimately resulted in the passing of the Civil Rights Act. It was a tragic day in America, when he was cut down by an assassin's bullet.

To celebrate his birthday and honor his memory, I am sharing a statement he made that has taken root in my psyche. It inspires me to be fearless and dream the dream he dreamed.

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.

  • Martin Luther King, Jr.
Mr. King's statement provokes additional questions for further thought and exploration.

Which is the greatest tragedy?

  • To do things that you should NOT have done. -OR-

  • To NOT do things that you should have done.





I Have A Dream Hardcover by Martin Luther King Jr..

I Have a Dream



Silence of the People

For people to be silent in the face of discrimination and evil is the worst sin I think. I think it is just one fo the problems we face in today's world. I think that people need to speak up when they see a wrong.
Posted by kgord on 01-13-2018


I agree that the appalling silence of the good people is the greatest tragedy. The good people should have spoke but they didn't and so the bad people continued to do evil. It is better to speak and have no one to listen to you than not speak at all.
Posted by mildredtabitha on 01-11-2018


When one ideology takes over another. That is something going to affect a lot in such case. And the tragedy stuff is that people don't understand where things can go wrong. And we have to be really understanding of that part.
Posted by overcast on 01-17-2018


Evil are not that powerful. They only looks powerful because the good ones don't do thing to stop them.
Posted by MomoStarr16 on 07-11-2018

There was a study

I remember a social experiment I watched a long time ago about people and how they react to a situation inside a room and how it changes drastically depending on the number of people inside. The more people there are in the room, the longer it takes for the first person to act or speak out. In a society, we have that mentality of staying silent and kind of wait for someone to say or do something. I am one of these people, I hate to admit it. I just hope I could find the strenght to be like MLK at the right moment, and wish the same strength for the rest of the people around the world.
Posted by sonnyisabeast on 11-05-2018




The greatest tragedy is people running away from God. They do not honor him anymore. They are busy looking for money and other businesses
Posted by stbrians on 09-27-2018
not everyone believe in God.


I think the greatest tragedy for individual is not doing those positive things that you are expected to have done.
Posted by babyright on 01-11-2018
Wow. Tough question. I'd have to say NOT doing the things you SHOULD have done. It's like when you argue with someone and something witty comes to your mind AFTER the argument is over. There was a situation in my life when I was 22 and should have taken a stand on an issue. But I was more worried about what "people" would say than doing what was right. To this day at age 45 that STILL haunts me.
Posted by Anonymous on 01-11-2018
Do you mean to say that it is a great tragedy when you didn’t do what you have done? I cannot agree on that because the sin of omission is really a lesson to us. An example is when you did not pursue a woman that you love. After some years you will realize that you may have been happy with her instead of your wife. But that is hindsight and you cannot really say that it is true. Anyway, lessons are learned and we should be aware so as not to repeat the mistake.
Posted by Corzhens on 12-15-2018
To do things you SHOULD NOT have done. It pretty much means you wasted times, made hasty decisions, or showed poor character and judgment.
Posted by NickJ on 01-11-2018
I think the greatest tragedy is not doing things you should have done.

When you did things you should not have done, you did them because you thought it was the right thing to do. But when you know you have to do something and also had the chance to do but you chose not to do , it is tragedy.
Posted by mildredtabitha on 01-11-2018
The greatest tradgedy is not doing the things that you should have done. The cause is maybe of fear or you don't to do it because you don't believe in it. If people would do their part then I think some issue will be resolved.
Posted by Scarlet on 01-12-2018
“The greatest tragedy in life is not death, but a life without a purpose.” – Myles Monroe. A life without a purpose is a life without a destination; you don’t know where to turn to. Our purpose in life is to find and do the things that make us smile, laugh and forget time with God on our side. Even if we aren’t sure yet, we have to move into the exploration and experimentation phase of our life and enjoy the journey.
Posted by Anonymous on 01-12-2018
For me, I think the greatest tragedy is not doing things you should have done. The reason why we don’t act on the things we have to be done is being afraid of the consequences might be. And realized later on, that we are sorry and frustrated of the things turn out so badly.
Posted by Anonymous on 01-12-2018
I think the greatest tragedy is not doing things you should have done. Too often, we don’t achieve the success we want because we are not willing to act for it. Surely, it requires some courage because we do face the possibility of being rejected, but the ever looming ‘what if’ will be much harder to live with than any turn down will. We ask ourselves what’s the worst that could happen if we don’t act on things. If it’s a simple denial it should never hold us back.
Posted by eavalderama on 01-12-2018
I believe it leaving very important life things to focus on what would not make much or no sense at all.I remember when I failed to start my art courses on time and pursuing entertainment stuff, by the time I realize what I was doing time as gone pass by and I'm struggling now to make it up and it becoming very difficult since I have to tend to a family with it.it hasn't been easy.
Posted by lovely on 01-12-2018
The greatest tragedy is to have not done something that you should have done. Not all deeds are bad so doing something that you should not have done can be rectified anyway. Yet, if you were meant to do something and didn't complete it then that is a failure and a tragedy in itself.
Posted by JMS on 01-13-2018
I think the greatest tragedy is never finding the love. Lot of people go through that. And it makes things a bit odd. And it can be really different for many of us. I guess we learn from our experience. But the thing is that love happens but sometimes you have to find it.
Posted by overcast on 01-13-2018
I think that one of the greatest tragedies is living in a world and having to embrace the lack of love from one human to another. The older I get, the more it is hard for me to swallow the atrocities of some of mankind's actions, past and present. When I observe acts of human compassion and kindness, they are so moving to me because the are so infrequent, at least in my experience. This is a very sad predicament. Also, whenever ANT of our great peacemakers or peace-bringers is assassinated or brought down, it is the worse tragedy because that one man or woman was truly inspiring many others, maybe even thousands of others, and thus dreams run the risk of truly dying in the minds of many, if we are all not careful.
Posted by JoeMilford on 01-14-2018
MLK is also one of my greatest inspirations. He was definitely ahead of his time. I love his speeches because he encourages all of us to have healthy self-esteem and to respect and love ourselves as people. He is the best advocate for being kind, but not taking any rubbish from anyone. The greatest tragedy is not doing things you should have done. It is said that the wealthiest place on earth is the grave yard because of the many dreams buried with the dead. I believe in living your life to the fullest no matter how many mistakes you make. In fact the more mistakes you make the better, as this means your learning.
Posted by jaymish on 01-15-2018
Normally, I don’t buy into conspiracy theories, but in the case of MLK I’m willing to endorse a “not proven” verdict on James Earl Ray being the sole plotter and shooter. This was done in order to squeeze his movement and ruin the momentum that he had. One should read the book by William F Pepper that's called " An Act of State" where the facts are stated and are an eye opener for those who remain silent.
Posted by muaaz.93 on 01-15-2018
I admire King. The America society that we know today is the giving of King. America is a multi-cultrural society and King helped to share up today's America. In my opinion, the greatest tragedy is To do things that you should NOT have done
Posted by vinaya on 01-15-2018
I don't see either option as a tragedy because we all have choices. As much as we wish to do something sometimes things prevent us, and as for doing things we wish we hadn't, that's called life. Everyone makes mistakes because that is how they learn. While one may desire to do something, why is it a tragedy if they don't do it. Some prefer dreams because sometimes doing things leads to disappointments.
Posted by Alexa on 01-16-2018
Which is the greatest tragedy?

(A) To do things that you should NOT have done. -OR-

(B) To NOT do things that you should have done.

I am in agreement with those who chose (B).

Regards (A):

  • To do things that you should NOT have done may or may not have tragic consequences. If you did something wrong through ignorance and you learned later that you should not have, while it may have had a tragic result, it's even more of a tragedy if YOU DO IT AGAIN!! If you did it knowing full well that you should not have, then, depending on what it was that you did, the consequences may or may not end in tragedy.
Regards (B):

  • When you pass on the opportunity to do something YOU KNOW you should have done, you won't ever get to relive that moment in time so that you can do it! It's gone! It's over! You don't get the time back. In that sense, to NOT do things that you should have done is the greatest tragedy. You can backtrack, try to do damage control, etc. But you can not go back to that point in time and FIX IT!
Posted by foxchannel on 01-30-2018
Doing the right thing is often met with massive hostility - mainly because society is based highly on conformity. On top of that, doing the right thing is scary because so many are against it. Anyway, even today, people known as SJW, social justice warriors, are met with mockery like you wouldn't believe. Basically, they're accused of being politically correct. This is a code-word for unfunny, square, and over-sensitive, LOL. Anyway, this new anti-progressivism is simply a way to make racism and other naughty things legit again.

However, though, I'm not a total rebel. I think conformity can be good and that the progressives can go overboard - but it's a shame that barbarism is returning and it's easy to see what is cool and what's not.
Posted by jyy on 02-16-2018
The greatest tragedy is not doing the right thing to do even though we know that it is the right thing to do. We base our own notions on the things or situation we see instead of evaluate and give some careful investigation before we some conclusions.
Posted by Anonymous on 02-22-2018
I think the greatest tradgedy is failing ourself. It is hard to live with yourself when you know you are not doing the best you can but you don't really know what to do. It is a frustrating set of circumstances to be in. It is too often the case.
Posted by kgord on 03-12-2018
I will choose to not do things that I should have not done. Especially when it is already too late, it is a huge regret when you haven’t done what you should have done. There are so many stories about that tragedy but let me cite just 1 actual example. That I was not able to give more time to my father because I was busy with my job and I was in love. And then my father had cancer of the liver and was given 6 months to live. That news had devastated me because there was no more good things to share with my father. He is sick and he couldn’t enjoy life anymore.
Posted by Corzhens on 04-08-2018
The greatest tragedy is knowing what is right then you neglected to tell it to other just because you are afraid. We owe everyone to speak what we know that is real.
Posted by MomoStarr16 on 07-11-2018
To NOT do things that you should have done is gonna be a life of regret and sorry. In my opinion its better to fail to the things that you have tried doing than never doing it at all.
Posted by fishbate on 07-11-2018