Seeing The Good Around Me: Asking “What…?”

War, conflict, natural disasters, heart-breaking loss. It seems like the world is falling apart all around me. Or, is it? In a sense, it is.


I like to keep up with the news and what I see reported are the events I just mentioned. In some cases, heart-warming stories are reported, but for the most part, what is chronicled is the worst of life.


These things are happening and there are some in the eye of these storms so all they are surrounded by is pain and suffering and loss. In this time in my life, I am on the periphery of most of these stories. That’s a blessing, but I also must keep my eyes open for the good for no other reason than to keep myself sane. One of the reasons I wanted to start “Seeing the Good” was to do just that-look into parts of my day where something good is happening. It’s a breath of fresh air in a stench of uncertainty or conflict.


But, I am not naïve enough to think that looking for the good negates all of the bad going on. When I think of how I can directly confront the bad things, I think back to a lesson I received from a nun.


I used to work in a Catholic hospital and one of the sisters worked in the ICU where I did. There was a particularly sad patient situation going on, and she, my students and I were standing there together talking. She turned to my students and said one of the most poignant things I think I have ever heard.


“In situations like these, we can easily ask ‘why’. That is a natural response, and in our prayers, that question comes out easily. Our Heavenly Father is big enough to handle that question, so don’t hesitate to ask it, but don’t expect you’ll always get an answer. Instead, if you want answers, ask ‘what’. Ask ‘what can I do to make this situation better?’ and ‘what can I learn from this situation?’. The answers you get will give you something to do with what you are feeling.”


Ask “what…” and be ready to receive an answer. Take that answer and put it into action. Take comfort that action will make at least a tiny change for the better. Then others will see that you are the good around them.


Image: Oxford Dictionaries

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