Arthur Ashe, the legendary tennis player who won Wimbledon championship, was dying of AIDS which he got due to infected blood he received during a heart surgery in 1983. From world over, he received letters from his fans, one of which conveyed: “Why does God have to select you for such a deadly disease?”
To this Arthur Ashe replied: “The world over — 50,000,000 children start playing tennis, 5,000,000 learn to play tennis, 500,000 learn professional tennis, 50,000 come to the circuit, 5000 reach the grand slam, 50 reach Wimbledon, 4 get to semifinal and 2 make it to the finals. When I was holding the winner’s trophy, I never asked God “Why me?”. And today in pain I should not be asking God “Why me?”
In life we go through plenty of events and experiences, some positive, good, happy or joyful and others negative, bad, miserable, sorrowful or painful. When positives happen in our lives, we never question God as to “why I have been singled out for such good and happy experiences?” We never even express our gratitude. On the contrary most would give credit to themselves, their hard work, talent, skills, knowledge, experience, etc. for all that is good in their lives.
On the other hand, when even a minor negative happens in our lives, we tend to blame everything and everyone and we immediately question God as to “why I have been singled out for such bad and painful experiences?”
If we accept the positives and good that happen in our lives without question and without even expressing our gratitude, then we should also accept the negatives and bad that happen in our lives without question. The source of both, the positive and negative events and experiences in our lives is our own praarabdha karma (actions performed in our past lives, which have fructified and as a result manifested our present lives and have become our destiny.)
We are ourselves responsible for it and, therefore, can’t blame anyone. So, we have no choice but to accept them as they are and go through the experience. It is not easy, especially if we don’t know the practical means to deal with it.
Spirituality helps us to deal with problems of life with equanimity. The more spiritual we become, the more spiritual knowledge we have, and more importantly, the more we practise that knowledge in our daily lives, we will be able to maintain calm amidst all that is happening in our lives and the chaos around us.
“As for any of us in crisis, hope is the one thing that’s everything.” — Craig D. Lounsbrough