Monday, April 12, 2010

When Bad Things Happen to Good People

I spent a lot of time reading very poignant posts this weekend and felt almost helpless that I couldn’t do more to ease the pain I saw. I wanted to reach through cyberspace and hug everyone. I made a lot of comments and a few direct e-mails and hope those few words bring a bit of sunshine to someone who might be having a rough time or just to say, you are not alone in this world. I want to think I am making a difference and wonder why do we have to suffer? Years ago after my mother was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and I was going through a particulary bad period of time, I picked up this paperback book written by Rabbi Kushner because I wanted to know why this was happening to little old me. The Rabbi wrote this after his son died at age 14. I am not a religious person but it actually helped me see that there are good people in this world and sometimes bad things happen. And it wasn’t because God (or another higher being) was getting back at us for something we had done—bad things just happen. He also stresses that it was not something that we did, a mistake, a failing that caused the bad thing to happen. This was what I took away from this book the most.

I created a sub-page within my blog to post some of the main points of the book but if you Google it, you will find a wealth of links.

The last part of the book questions what is our purpose in this world. To make money, to live in a big house, to buy lots of things, to travel, to … Not really. I have a lot of these things but to be really fulfilled is knowing that we can make a difference to how our world unfolds. I posted on Saturday, that my son had met a 10 year old boy in Africa whose mother had died from AIDS. The young boy was taking care of his sick grandmother and two younger siblings. My son left a few clothing items, some food and a few dollars. It might not have been much but it changed this little boys life for a short time and let him know that someone cared. When we do unto others we show others that they are not alone.

But bad things keep happening to good people and will continue to happen—the child abuse, sexual and emotional abuse, the car accidents, the cancers, the diseases, the deaths, murders and suicides—9/11, plane crashes, hurricanes, tsunamis, wars and genocide. We can never turn back the clock and change these things, nor how we or others reacted. But we can listen and we can help make a difference no matter how slight to the way someone feels. Ten years ago, Blogging and other types of social networking weren’t available. Now we can reach out into cyberspace and in seconds connect and make others aware that they are not facing their problems alone. I think if we knew the tiny little ripple-effect we have on each other we would be astounded.

So I want to encourage all, if you are looking for some reason to exist in this world, reach out to others. Leave a comment, send an e-mail (ok even pick up the phone and call them). Because your heart and your life will be much richer for it, knowing that you may have started that little ripple that will help someone else move forward. If you find some of this blogging overwhelming, post a message to let us know you are still around and are swamped with work, with kids, with life. We just want to know that you are still out there and will be waiting to hear how you are and if you need us for anything. Because "It takes a Village..."

I hope I haven't brought a downer to your Monday. I promise things will get better as the week goes by. And I wasn’t even going to post today!

12 comments:

Jennifer said...

Lovely advice Sandy! I also wanted to say that you raised and AMAZING son! Seeing those photos and stories really touched me. What an amazing thing he's doing out there in the world.

Barbara said...

Sandy very poignant post. I too thought much of the same. I wish I could reach my arms out to several in our community and say .. you are strong and you will survive.. because we all have that survivor instinct in us.
I have shared that my husband was stricken with the crapiest cancer (multiple myeloma) several years ago.. on the day of dx, the doc said 3 years that was it. we went home and my husband could only think why me? what did I do in my life to deserve this.. Now it has not always been a good time, but the dx has opened our eyes to many things in life.. and it changes you.. to survive and beat the odds.. my point here is that bad things happening to good people makes us STRONGER.. makes us determined to find a way to make ourselvse resilient and go on.. I am interested in the book and to read your synopsis.. thanks for posting this..

SuperMegaAnna said...

Great advice Sandy! This is a good thing to remember when we have one of those down days. We will survive!

Fiona said...

What a fantastic post. I was very moved. You are so right about reaching out. I learned that if you give of yourself you will receive it back 2 fold. I have been really struggling to be good. I am off work, surrounded by goodies as the kids are off and going a bit stir crazy so today I decided to go to my friends house and help her decorate her daughters bedroom. I not only had a very fun day with my friend, chatting, laughing and putting the world to rights but she was very grateful and it kept me away from the goodies so I have been good all day. My friend knows how much she means to me, her daughter got a lovely, very pink room and I got lots of exercise up and down ladders. But above all this I feel good about myself today. Doing this and then reading your post has convinced me that I need to do things like this more often as it really is its own reward. Thank you for a lovely post. Take care x

http://incredible--shrinking--woman.blogspot.com/

Jenny said...

Beautiful post.

Kristen said...

That was a great post ..

it's hard to think this way all the time.. and then you read a post like this, and realize how important it is to really listen to others ..

sometimes that's all it takes..

carla said...

Great advice and very thought provoking..thanks for reminding us what matters!!!

Darlin1 said...

Great post Sandy--It's important to remind ourselves of the bigger picture all the time. I always say write it on the wall--so we can remember when we forget.

XO

tessierose said...

Sandy, thank you for this post. You always make us think and you alway reach out and comment. Your kindness really makes a difference.

amandakiska said...

Great post. Thank you!

Drazil said...

It doesn't even surprise me that your kids turned out so amazing....because they were raised by you. I loved this post and being a recipient of you reaching out made it all the more poignant to me. I love you girl....never forget that.

Lonicera said...

You're right Sandy, by blogging it's easier to reach out these days and find many people out there who are going through what we are, or worse. Thanks for your post.
Caroline

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