By Jim Hunt
A common refrain from people going through challenging times is to ask the question, “Why me?” And it might be logical to inquire why a particular illness or stretch of bad luck has befallen us. After all, when we are down and out, it is always easy to look around and see others who are laughing and playing and seemingly without a care in the world. Why me, indeed!
I like to look at that question in another way. When I reflect on my life, I ask the question from a different perspective. Why am I living in such an amazing time? Why is my life so blessed and full of love? Why do I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world and why have I been so fortunate to be able to travel throughout the world and experience such wonderment? While I have had my share of challenges and defeats, I have never felt like I was living under a dark cloud or that somehow, the universe was picking me out to torment. One of my favorite authors, Dr. Wayne Dyer would say that on the day we are born, we are winners and each day we live, we are enjoying a blessing that is denied to many. When we have clean water to drink and food on our table, we are more fortunate than the vast majority of the world. And, for those who fear death, it is as much a part of life as our birth and we should celebrate this gift and enjoy the journey, no matter how long it is.
Throughout my life, I have had some amazing experiences. I have seen sadness and bitterness in some of the most luxurious places in the world and I have also seen unparalleled joy and happiness in some of the poorest and desolate places on earth. I can remember a trip to South Africa and visiting the slums of Soweto. We met a group of children, who were part of a youth group and toured their modest school and were honored with a performance of native dances. When they finished, many in our group approached the group leader and asked if we could make a donation to assist the school. The director told us that they did not accept donations but that we could purchase some t-shirts and crafts that the children had made. Proudly, the children opened the “store” and we bought an assortment of items.
One of the children asked if we wanted to visit her home and meet her parents. We walked on a muddy path to a row of tin shacks and entered a tiny area with a single lightbulb on the ceiling. The floor had some tattered rugs covering the dirt and you could see light peaking in from the breaks in the tin. I will never forget the smiles on the faces of this family. They were proud of their modest home and looked with hope to the future. Likewise, I have been in some of the finest hotels in the world and have seen anger explode when a waitress forgot a pad of butter or a maid missed a smudge on the bathroom mirror.
I am reminded of the story of the wise man in the village who brought the people together to pray for rain, after a long drought. The following morning, he looked over the crowd and noted, “We all prayed for rain last night and I have heard much grumbling this morning but as I look around, only one little girl brought her umbrella!” Why us? Why not?
Have an Amazing New Year!