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

When a card came out of the blue ...

This post is prompted by a remark made by my good friend Wei Lin. She saw me reading a card I had received from a friend recently and said: "Traditional cards are so old-fashioned."

I wondered if that was true and decided to probe into the issue. A Google search revealed numerous articles on the debate between traditional paper-based cards and e-cards. Tracey Grady's examination of the pros and cons of each type is informative.

In my opinion, e-cards are not substitutes for the real (traditional) ones and they shouldn't be. I treat e-card e-mails with suspicion because spammers could be using them to download viruses and software onto my computer.

I have never sent anyone an e-card and I don't plan to; I dislike the cold impersonality of conveying greetings electronically.

I have always liked sending and receiving cards the traditional way.

The ritual of going to a bookshop, browsing at the card section, picking a suitable one for the recipient and then walking to a p…

Sabah is Veena's paradise

Life is seriously good in Sabah, says Berita Harian Sabah bureau chief Veena Rusli.

"Every inch of Sabah is amazing. What is there to complain when you live, work and play in a holiday destination?" adds the bubbly Seremban-born, who has called Kota Kinabalu home for more than four years now.

Veena looks at Sabah, known as "the land below the wind", with the eye of a person who appreciates the simple things in life. Living in Kuala Lumpur for many years as a journalist had taken a heavy toll on her.

She extols the virtues of a stress-free life which she has found in Kota Kinabalu.

Unnecessary pressures such traffic jams and flash floods are minimal in Kota Kinabalu and these lessen the impact of  managing the worries of everyday life .

I met Veena in Kota Kinabalu recently. I was there to attend the RHB New Straits Times Spell-It-Right Challenge which took place at the Suria Sabah mall over the weekend of July 4-5.
I was struck by her bubbly nature. Her cheerful, frie…

Why Shamsul Amri dislikes Facebook

People who do not use Facebook fall into three broad categories.

The first group is completely indifferent to it, the second finds it mildly irritating and the third dislikes it intensely.

Malaysia's prominent sociologist Professor Shamsul Amri Baharuddin is of the last type.

I made the mistake of asking Shamsul, who is director of the Institute of Ethnic Studies at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, if he was on Facebook, the social network which was hatched up in the dormitories of Harvard six years ago.

"I have a face and I keep thousands of books. Why do I need Facebook?"

How do you react to that reply?

I didn't. I meekly invited him to elaborate on his reasons.

"Facebook will take away my soul and I won't allow that to happen because I am a believer," says Shamsul fiercely, who launched into a tirade of accusations against Facebook.

Ninety per cent of the things you read on Facebook are either petty, bitter, rude or offensive.

"I refuse to rea…