Saturday, December 02, 2006

WHY ???


Commonly we individually or collectively ask: “Why?” such as:

Why was the Holocaust allowed to happen?

One may answer this question in varying ways such as:

1.) Hitler, a horrible individual came to power and together with other
evil people used the Jews and others as scapegoats and killed millions
of innocent people, or
2.) World War I began with an incident that triggered a war where there
were no “good nations” nor “just cause”. At the end of the War,
Germany was humiliated and its people collectively punished with war
reparations and related punishments. Out of the chaos that resulted
people pushed to both the radical left and right seeking an answer.
The radical right won out through Hitler as many people sought order
and self-worth. Initially Hitler gave many Germans a sense of
well-being and his cleverness pushed good people on a horrific path ….
3.) There is “no good answer” to this question. One can explain many
things, however the end was in no way justifiable or understandable, it
just happened.

The “Why” question becomes much harder when we face questions such as:

1.) Why is my child dying of cancer at a young age? or
2.) Why was “X” killed by a drunk driver when s/he was so young? or
personally for me:
3.) Why did my father (who lived a “good life”) die at 46 of stomach
cancer, while my ex-father-in-law lived to around age 80 (despite
abusing his body with smoking and drinking heavily much of his life)?

Answering such questions related directly to our own lives requires us
to do various things such as:

1.) Examining ourselves critically and looking for parts of ourselves
that may perhaps have contributed to the issue that bothers us, and:
2.) Recognizing the importance of our deep seated fears and other
emotions and relating them to what is bothering us, and
3.) Seeing how others may be different from us in important ways and
both honoring the differences and not taking responsibility for things
that are beyond us and not part of us, and
4.) Accepting reality – both our part in “why” where it may be anywhere
from totally “not our fault” to where we may have had some or all the
responsibility for what happened, and perhaps most importantly,
5.) Having faith – whether through religion, other spiritual beliefs or
simply part of our inner core – so that our doubts and fears are felt
but do not control us or hurt us more than they have to.

Life isn’t “fair” some of the time. We each face our own doubts and
questions. Individually we must find how we can best deal with our
own “whys?” recognizing our past life experiences as well as looking to
the future.

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