Dear Martha, Why do bad things happen to good people?
I asked Martha this repeatedly during the time we spent together as I was always trying to understand why tragedy struck my family. I wanted to know why some people suffered in ways I could not imagine. I respected that many people believed “everything happens for a reason” but I did not feel this way. It took many years walking alone in nature and sitting under Martha pondering before I could let go of the anger associated with this quest. As I became more grounded, I simply let go and redirected my focus on what really mattered. If I knew “why”, it may bring some comfort but it would not change anything. It would not bring people back from the dead, end abuses or stop wars. What matters is the control we have over our responses to our hardships. Like Martha enduring the hard winters and moving on, we can use our hardships to open our minds and hearts. It is in our control, although not easy, a choice to be angry or kinder, more present in life. Our hardships are not wasted if we have the courage and strength to allow them to make us our best selves.