We’ve all said it at least once in our lives. Usually having to do with some terrible circumstance that has befallen us . . . An auto accident, a loss of job , a major illness, financial setbacks . . . . even way before that, I’ll bet at least once or twice in your childhood you wondered why it had to be you who had to stay home from your favorite field trip just because you had the measles, or why it was you who got thrown out at third base.
Well, I want you to know that there are not many days go by that I don’t wake up with that question on my mind. Why me?! What did I do to deserve this?
First of all, I’m climbing out of a comfortable bed, not only that, it is a bed with clean sheets. How many millions of people around the world sleep on a mat on a dirt floor or even outside in the elements? Including those right here in our own community.
Next I have not only clean water, but clean hot water. Not only that, I turn a faucet and it is there. I don’t even have to carry it from a well or out of muddy stream bed. . . . Why me?
I stumble to the kitchen where there is electricity with which to brew my coffee and heat my breakfast, if I so desire. I have clean dishes. I have the choice of various breakfast products. . . . Why me?
I have central heating and air conditioning . . . Why me?
I have an auto and am able to buy gas for it . . . at the moment. I live where there are paved roads. My garbage gets picked up every week. I have adequate clothing. . . Why me?
I have reasonably good health. My children and their families have reasonably good health. . . Why me?
What did I ever do to deserve to be born in this century, in this country . . . and not only in this country but in California . . . and not only California, but Northern California.
After reading the series that Doni ran regarding homelessness in our community, I realize that there, but for the grace of God, goes any one of us under a minor change of circumstance.
So, is this all awarded to me because I’m such a good person; because I’m so brilliant; because I’m so upstanding, generous and righteous? Yeah, right! Nope, I think I deserve all this about as much as the next person deserves to be overtaken by some calamity such as a dread disease; or the loss of a child; or some other more than horrible circumstance. Good things or bad things, it is never a matter of what we deserve, (O.K, some of this is due to choices we have made.) rather it is, I believe, a matter of using each circumstance as an opportunity for learning. If life is the the classroom, circumstances are the lessons. . Whether it’s good or bad situations, it doesn’t matter. There is something to be learned from both ends of the spectrum. But, I will also admit, the lessons learned at one end of the spectrum are a waaaay more enjoyable than those offered at the other end.
Final comment: I believe the ‘why me’ needs to be followed by gratefulness.
Adrienne Jacoby is a 40-plus-year resident of Shasta County and native-born Californian. She was a teacher of vocal music in the Enterprise Schools for 27 years and has been retired for 11 years.
A musician all her life, she was married to the late Bill Jacoby with whom she formed a locally well -known musical group who prided themselves in playing for weddings, wakes, riots, bar mitzvas and super market openings. And, oh yes . . . she has two children, J’Anna and Jayson.
A News Cafe, founded in Shasta County by Redding, CA journalist Doni Chamberlain, is the place for people craving local Northern California news, commentary, food, arts and entertainment. Views and opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of anewscafe.com.