What I’ve been struggling with lately is accepting that whatever happens to me — whether I like it or not — is in my best interest. It’s hard to believe when bad things happen, like breaking your leg, not getting your dream job, or getting rejected by someone you really like, that it’s actually in your best interest.
Last night I got an e-mail that convinced me otherwise.
Most of you are probably aware of the humanitarian disaster in Gonaives, Haiti resulting from Tropical Storm Hanna and Hurricane Ike. I have a friend down there doing relief work. He’s been living in Haiti for a few years now. In his mass e-mail my friend writes, “The need is so overwhelming, the suffering of the people is so heart-breaking and the needs are so immediate, that this situation has introduced a vital flow of dynamism and the potentiality for very rapid decisions and going through loops in shorter time.”
He goes on to say ACDI, a nonprofit, is about to give the Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team/AMURT Ladies (the nonprofit my friend works for) a large food contract that will benefit tens of thousands of people. UNICEF also wants to give AMURT/EL the green light to implement projects in Gonaives. In addition, the Ministry of Interior is asking AMURT/EL to put together a stress-management program, using yoga as a base. The UN Civil Affairs Office is invited AMURT/EL to give yoga and meditation classes. My friend says the emphasis on things like environmental protection, integrated management, women’s programs and more, has grown.
The reason I bring this up is not to tout yoga and meditation but to point out how much change this horrible disaster is bringing. How there is so much capacity to do good work. How people are coming together in the streets to help one another. How in the face of such a tragedy people are joining hands and demonstrating all that is good about being human. I bring up this tragedy in Haiti as an illustration of how even when something horrible happens, good can come from it. Who knows how much Haiti will change now? Much-needed funds are flooding that country bringing all sorts of change.
My point is that even when horrible, crappy things happen it’s all ultimately for the best. It highlights the need for change, throws people together who otherwise wouldn’t have mingled and creates dynamism. Am I glad several hurricanes hit Haiti and people were injured and hurt? Of course not. Can I see how good can come from this? Yes. I see hope and possibility and strength and kindness. I see that another world is not possible, it’s probable.
Thank you for this reminder, Rebekah, and for the update on happenings in Haiti.
I am reminded of a story (there’s one telling of it here):
An old man owned a bony plow horse. One spring afternoon the horse ran away. The old man’s friends, trying to console him, said, “We’re so sorry about your horse, old man. What a misfortune you’ve had.” But the old man said, “Bad news, good news-who knows?”
A few days later the horse returned home leading a herd of wild horses. Again the friends came running. Filled with jubilation, they cried, “How wonderful!” But the old man whispered, “Good news, bad news-who knows?”
Then the next day, when the farmer’s son was trying to ride one of the new horses, the young man was thrown to the ground and broke both legs. The friends gasped. The old man stood still and said, “Bad news, good news-who knows?”
And a short time later when the village went to war and all the young men were drafted to fight, the farmer’s son was excused because of two broken legs. Good news. Bad news. Who knows?