Why not me?

17 Nov

“My child died, very suddenly. I could never understand it but I never asked: “Why me?” Instead I asked: “Why not me?” It could happen to anyone so why should it not happen to me?”

Above is a father’s quote from a newspaper article I read recently, after a very tragic accident that killed his little child. It left me totally amazed at this man’s bravery and wisdom to see his loss in such a different light. It taught me a valuable life lesson, better than all the advice I have ever read about moving on and coping with hardships. It is this simple mantra of life: “Why not me?”

When we struggle, we always try to find answers by asking the why question.

“Why me, why this way, why now?”

Sound familiar? I know I have done it so many times. But if I could find that father, I would shower him in smiles and gratitude. Because his wisdom made me realise the danger of “Why me?”. While it is a natural reaction to a negative, unexpected obstacle or a trouble, it can also make you block the world out.  It will make you try to justify your troubles by finding answers in you.

And  that can lead us to create a pulping well of self-pity and worthlessness. We start feeling like we have done something wrong. We must have! Why else would this be happening to us? We start feeling that somehow, we deserve this horrible thing, this unhappiness.

But I want to tell you now: That is an illusion. Obstacle is just a circumstance. It is not your quality, not your innate trait. It does not mean you deserve unhappiness. It is just something that came your way. And a way to move past it, to fight back, is to follow the footsteps of the brave father above and ask:

Photocredit: nborlando.org

This question has been a revolution to me. No actually, more like an evolution. It has taught me a totally new way to assemble my worries.

Asking ‘Why not me?’ makes you open up to the world. It makes you look at your neigbour and think: This could have happened to him too. But still, I would not wish the same struggles for him. So why not me?

It makes you look around and realise that you’re not alone. That somewhere, someone is crying just like you are. That somewhere, someone is laughing just like you are.

The biggest illusion we have in life is that others won’t understand us. That our hardships are our own hardships.  But they’re not. There is over seven billion individuals dwelling around this planet right now so it is very likely you share experiences with them. That makes our hardships everyone’s hardships. This way, you can see you’re not alone and you can see the value of sharing a load. Be comforted by this.

“Why not me?”  will make you find perspective. Make you realise that you do not need to overscale your troubles, you do not need to tell people that they can’t possibly understand your suffering, just to show them how much you hurt or how stressed you are. You can show that by simply telling them what is wrong. And you might be surprised to find they have something to share with you too.

The photocredit: silverhuang.com
Caption edited in by me.

“Why not me?” can also make you see other people as they are, as people. It can stop you from making rushed judgements.

It is easy to look at a homeless person and think he is a hopeless alcoholic. It is easy to look at a parent having three jobs and think they’re neglecting their child. It is easy to look at someone overweight with two bags full of crisps and think they’re doing nothing to change their unhealthy lives.

And why is it so easy? Because our brain functions on learnt stereotypes, that is how it makes sense of the world. But you can break those stereotypes, those unpurposeful judgements. You can do it by introducing your brain a new way of making sense of the world:

“Why not me?”

That is a reality call ringing in your head. It can help you realise that these people have stories too, just like you do.

That homeless man might have children, he might have a top degree in maths but never had a full-time job. And that parent, juggling too many part-time jobs, she might be a single mum, trying to scrape money for bills, healthy food and her child’s school supplies. That man you thought fat and lazy, he might be comfort eating because his parents have just died and he does not know who he could turn to.

“Why not me?” makes you realise: That person you judged by outer appearance could be you.

And you can also be the person they can turn to.

You can help and be helped. You do not need to be alone. You can turn your obstacles into a source of strength.

So why don’t you?

Why not you?

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9 Responses to “Why not me?”

  1. thecheekydiva November 17, 2012 at 9:37 pm #

    Wow. Friend, this piece has given me the shivers. i actually think I’m going to cry. Cut it out! ~ No don’t. This is an amazing piece of work. 🙂

    • thecheekydiva November 17, 2012 at 9:40 pm #

      I just tweeted a link to this to WP to recommend it for Freshly Pressed. If they don’t, they should.

    • daydreamdaisies November 17, 2012 at 10:31 pm #

      Thank you! I am so happy that the writing reached you. 🙂 This has become an important message to me, just totally made me look at life in a new light, so I’m glad if that came across!

      • thecheekydiva November 17, 2012 at 10:39 pm #

        It certainly did. Well done.

  2. ruleofstupid November 18, 2012 at 12:30 am #

    Spot on. We seem so obsessed with the why – and yet why is often without meaning, without use – Knowing why your poor won’t make you rich, knowing why your child was lost won’t bring them back. We need to ask what. Not why me, but what will I do about it. Not why am I unlucky, but what can I do to make things better.
    The “why not me” is a good way of doing this. So true – we’re all just people after all – why not me.

  3. Daydreamertoo November 18, 2012 at 1:07 am #

    This reminds me so much of ‘There, but for the grace of God, go I.’
    Yes, we so frequently ask the question ‘why me’ as if we alone are being persecuted, or punished for behaving in some way but, when we can take ourselves out from being at the center of things and look at it from another angle, another perspective, we see that life is what it is, nothing more, nothing less. It does what it does and all that matters is how we learn to handle what it does. Isn’t it just like a light being turned on in our head when we ‘get it’…when we understand that little bit more about life than we did before it happens. There is so much to be learned, and being open to it all is the way to knowing more.
    RYN: Thank you so much for such a lovely comment on my ‘about’ page. I was getting hundreds of spam left in the comments forms that I had to set it to close comments after 10 days, to try to cut down on the spam. It does help but, now they found they can spam through the comment form on the old pictures I use too…LOL
    So, anything older than 10 days the comments form isn’t on them..thanks so much though. 🙂 A pleasure to meet you too.

    • daydreamdaisies November 19, 2012 at 9:21 pm #

      Oh, that explains it. :p I was quite confused, trying to find a comment box for a good half an hour. Nevermind if I didn’t find one though, the main thing is that I found your inspirational writing!
      And I think it is exactly how you put it, when we take a step back and stop focusing all our thoughts inwards quite often we see the bigger picture. And what a picture life makes!

  4. Maggie Fleming November 18, 2012 at 5:01 am #

    What a beautiful twist of the common perspective! And how very right you are.

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