Skip to main content

Rising above the "why me" question

A resident of the seaside town of Toyoma, northern Japan, wipes her eyes as she takes a break from cleaning debris from her home on Monday ( March 14, 2011), three days after a giant quake and tsunami struck Japan's northeastern coast. Photo courtesy of NST Image Bank.
 
Every tragedy is an opportunity to assess our feelings on loss and grief. And we are guided by our belief systems when we embark on this exercise.

When we endure massive losses of the scale experienced by victims in the northeastern part of Japan we slip into confusion, misdirection and unhappiness. The hurt that follows the wreck of disaster is made worse by the inability to explain it.

The question is, "Why me?" We want answers and yearn for immediate respite. We discover that answers are not forthcoming and it is tough trying to escape from something difficult or unpleasant. So, what do we do?

Some pray to God for an end to their sufferings.When we ask God for help we are entrusting Him to take care of our problems while we struggle to find solutions. Believers hold that faith is stronger than reason.

For millennia, people who face terrible times have sought to understand why they are in such situations. There are many ways in which humans have tried to make sense of personal tragedy, past and present, minor or major.

That there is order to the universe which means that some events or calamities -- whether natural or man-made -- cannot be fully understood because we are not privy to God's grand design is the single most important factor in grappling with destruction and the subsequent anguish.

We would do well to accept them as being a part of God's plan and that means rising above our confusion, misdirection and unhappiness. In other words, tragic accidents happen for a reason which we may never totally grasp.

The thought of an afterlife is also comforting. Human life is transient and everyone has to die sooner or later. For those who believe in life after death, the passing of loved ones is but a temporary break. A belief in an afterlife of some sort, often referred to as heaven, gives hope that we will meet them again.


Believers remind us that humans must suffer some bad days because that is the way the world is. The trials and tribulations of managing our daily lives are a test of the strength of our love for God. Remember this the next time a sense of despair overwhelms you, they counsel.

If we acknowledge that we are on Earth to fulfil God's grand plan, we will be able to move on and not dwell on our sorrows. When we know ourselves and our place in the universe we will be able to resolve the "why me" predicament and renew our faith in the midst of all the confusion.

Others may undergo spiritual crises from which they may or may not recover. Those who seize the moment in each catastrophe to transform and improve themselves are the lucky ones.

Comments

Popular Posts

My year at The Rakyat Post

  Dec 31, 2014, the last day of the year and the end of my one year stint at The Rakyat Post , an online news portal. Educational is the best way to sum up my year at The Rakyat Post. Leaving your comfort zone is intimidating at first; it has a steep learning curve. But now I wish I had done it sooner and the whole exercise reaffirms my motto: “learn, learn, learn”. Einstein was spot on when he said, “Learning is not a product of schooling but the lifelong attempt to acquire it”. When I left the New Straits Times to join The Rakyat Post on Jan 3, 2014, I didn’t know what to expect. Nelson Fernandez, also known as Mohd Ridzwan Abdullah, had invited me to join him at the website this time last year. Nelson Fernandez at his office at The Rakyat Post He was charged with assembling a team to provide content for the portal. And I am glad I said yes. Switching from traditional journalism to online journalism is challenging, as anyone who had made

'Daddy Cool' in KL

Those who danced to the hits of Boney M in the mid-70s and mid-80s are now a lot older, visibly rounder and arguably wiser. All that didn't matter when they gathered at Sunway Lagoon Hotel on Saturday night to see the pop and disco group, which was originally based in West Germany, performed for charity at a show organised by Lejadi Group. The moment Liz Mitchell came on stage and showed off her vocals with Amazing Grace, fans poised themselves for a rush that would last for several days. The audience was easily persuaded. Before they knew it, fans of Boney M were clapping their hands and getting off their seats to gyrate to Sunny, Ma Baker, Hooray! Hooray! It's a Holi-Holiday!, Daddy Cool (the group's first number 1 hit), Rasputin, Rivers of Babylon, No Woman No Cry and Bahama Mama, among others. "We want you to get really happy ... we want to encourage you to dance so that your blood gets hot," coaxed Mitchell, the group's original lead si

Who am I?

Malaysian artist Jeganathan Ramachandram will be exhibiting his paintings in Singapore if a deal with a company to display Human Watching: A Visual Poetry on the Science of Human Watching in the island republic is successful. The intuitive artist told Survey that the move is still under negotiation. Human watching made its debut at Galeri Petronas in March, 2009 and was well received by both art critics and art lovers. Fourteen portraits representing females and males born on each of the seven days in a week were put on view. The depictions (acrylic on canvas) were based on his observations of human behaviour for the past 14 years. Images of seven females and seven males inform viewers through symbols of their strengths and weaknesses and their relationships with other people. Those who have seen Human Watching identified with their profiles almost immediately. Admit it: you are curious about yourself! Males, who were born on Sunday ( bottom picture ), were pleasantly surprised to dis