Why not me?

It is an incontrovertible truism that peace is needed everywhere because without it nothing else is possible. As a matter of fact, possibility itself occurs where there is peace.

While peace is much desired in our society and the world at a large, it is nonetheless required within oneself in order to relate more constructively with the world. This is why ultimately, nothing is as beautiful and profound as the peace of mind, that psychological state of harmony that the Germans call the “Weltanschaung”.

The reality of our life is that despite all our pretensions to modernity and development, peace of mind is generally eluding even those who are supposedly living in peace. One manifestation of the missing peace of mind is the question that often comes out of people facing one difficulty or the other, “Why me?”

Whether we like it or not, there are certain things in life that are given. Everyone will, or is likely to, experience them at one time or the other. These are happiness and sadness, meeting and departure, good health and ill-health, success and failure as well as life and death. The mere fact that one enjoys the desired ones at a time does not foreclose the nearness or inevitability of the undesired ones in a lifetime.

In other words, it is natural that we all aspire that we all have the first parts of the pairs, “the positives”, while we despise and pray against the other sides, “the negatives”.  Yet, our lives would not be complete without experiencing the other parts. What is important is to brace ourselves  so that when anything undesirable happens, as it does happens in life, we wouldn’t say, “Why me?”

I think “Why me?” is loaded with conceit and hatred. It is conceit to assume that one is so special that one should not experience what is ordinarily part of the life for billions of people. And it is hatred that one wonders why God does not choose one’s neighbour for the calamity that has befallen one.

Those who are ill-prepared for challenges as a result of poor education in the school of life would lament and query the Almighty God. Those that are better educated know that nothing is permanent and there is ease after difficulty, hence they confront the undesirable situations with planning, prayers and patience.

The way to peace of mind is to prepare oneself adequately for challenges and to confront them squarely or accept them in good faith. Through that process, one would live happier and longer, instead of lamenting  and complaining  about things one cannot change. Rather than wonder, “Why me?” the better question is, “Why not me?”

The story is told of the legendary Wimbledon player, Arthur Robert Ashe, who was dying of AIDS as a result of infected blood he received during a heart surgery in 1983. Mr Ashe received several letters of support from his fans but there was a particular fan who wondered, “Why did God have to select you for such a bad disease?”

It was to this message that Arthur Ashe said something striking, which we should all imbibe and apply to our own situations.

According to him, “50 million children started playing Tennis. 5 million learnt to play Tennis. 500,000 learnt Professional Tennis. 50,000 came to Circuit. 5,000 reached Grandslam. 50 reached Wimbledon. 4 reached the Semifinals. 2 reached the Finals and when I was holding the cup in my hand, I never asked God, ‘Why me?’ So, now that I am in pains, how can I ask God, ‘Why me?'”

As someone said, “Happiness keeps you sweet. Trials keep you strong. Sorrows keep you human. Failure keeps you humble. Success keeps you growing. But only faith keeps you going.”

If we have faith, we would have peace of mind and everything will be kept going. This is the attitude and this is the question (why not me?) when life reveals an aspect of its true colour.


Universities can never be healthy as long as our primary and secondary schools are neglected. The foundation must be sound. _ George