Be the Most Dependable Person in a Tragedy

By | July 14, 2022

[July 14, 2022]  Inevitably, there are tragedies in life.  They are unavoidable; the death of a loved one, terminal cancer, serious injury, etc.  As free human beings, we have two primary choices in the face of tragedy.  One is the nihilist, who would believe there is nothing to do but accept a world destined for destruction.  The other is to be the most dependable person for others to help settle the tragedy.

To be the most dependable person is to call forth inner strength and be someone to whom others gravitate in adverse times.  Humans have been dealing with loss and death forever.  We are descendants of those who could manage it.  The capacity to overcome the tragedy is within us, grim as our task might seem.

If we are truly good family members during a tragedy, it would seem a form of betrayal to stand firm, remain healthy, and be dependable.  It might appear that proof of our love and admiration of a loss would dictate we are shallow or that our bond was weak and temporary, that our loss is easily replaceable.  Should the tragedy not destroy us?

According to those who study death, it is most common that those on their deathbeds are troubled by their immediate uselessness and the burden they cause on their loved ones.  Such is the way of our lives, and as such, it makes the loss that much more heart-rending.  To be the one who fails in the face of tragedy is a form of betrayal of the person who has died or is seriously ill.  The better approach is to pay tribute to those lost to death and illness.

It takes someone strong to step in and exercise the necessary authority that makes the tragedy something to face and overcome.  It follows that we each have a moral obligation under such tragic circumstances to demonstrate strength.  That means we should face tragedy forthrightly and with power.

To express our strength at such a time of tragedy, to be the most dependable person, to be solid and steadfast, to be the one others can depend on, is the way to make a bad situation less dreadful.  Courage and nobility in the face of tragedy are what is necessary.  In this way, we honor those who are experiencing tragedy.


Please read my new book, “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” on Amazon (link here).

Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article every day on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

17 thoughts on “Be the Most Dependable Person in a Tragedy

  1. Greg Heyman

    “The mindset of loss of a loved one is to understand that the loss will never be undone. You must live with it, like it or not. But, to live well, you must turn that loss into something positive. That way, you can become the best version of yourself; scarred, flawed and unstoppable.” – Val Uchendu, Actor

  2. Valkerie

    This is why, in my opinion, that this website is so attractive – it touches on our deepest needs and understandings. It pushes us to think – sometimes a lot , and it makes me and you appreciate what we have. Life is full of tragedy and someone has to step up and that is YOU. Thank you General Satterfield.

  3. Newbie in Seattle

    Strength matters. And to have strength requires motivation.

  4. Roger Yellowmule

    I like the new direction that Gen. Satterfield is taking us. While overall there is no major shift in his blog’s direction (it’s about leadership), his focus on all levels of leadership hits home and is not as restrictive as a focus on senior leadership.

  5. Max Foster

    Gen. Satterfield wrote, ‘Courage and nobility in the face of tragedy are what is necessary.’ True enough. And that is the most difficult thing any of us can do for others. Stand strong in the face of adversity. This is the hero myth being played out in real life. The hero, flawed and fearful, but willing to stand up where he may face death and pain. We should all be paying close attention to this excellent article. Well done! 😊

      1. Frankie Boy

        Yes, and also why I purchased his book. And, I understand he is writing another book. Can’t wait until it comes out.

  6. Ursala J. Simpson

    Honor those who experience tragedy. An interesting idea. That one, I am going to have to think more about.

  7. Dog Man

    Another enjoyable blog post by Gen. Satterfield and one that helps free my mind from the restrictions imposed by my upbringing.

    1. Tom Bushmaster

      Hmmmmm (oh, copying Gen. S.). Looks like Gen. Satterfield is starting to move toward a connection between his study and writing about ‘leadership’ and the value of a good ‘life.’

  8. Big Al

    “To express our strength at such a time of tragedy, to be the most dependable person, to be solid and steadfast, to be the one others can depend on, is the way to make a bad situation less dreadful. ” – Gen. Satterfield, at his best.

  9. Melo in Chicgo

    Another spot-on blog post by Gen. Satterfield that has made me re-think my aversion to funerals and other such “memorials” to the dead. Yes, there is indeed a way forward to truly giving something final to those who are lost to a tragedy. Well written and today, appreciated.

    1. Harry Man

      Hi Melo, haven’t heard from you in a while. Good to have you back in Gen. Satterfield’s leadership forum. I know you always are able to make a cogent comment, sprinkled with a tad bit of humor. Thanks for continuing to read this blog where your friends await.

      1. Commie Red

        Indeed, this is also a forum of those who know one another from their comments. Their humor. Their striking thinking. ✔

  10. MrJohn22

    Yes! The only way to honor those who are lost to us is to be strong and dependable.


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