Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, this classic is Rabbi Kushner’s perspective on how people can better deal with tragedies and crisis, but you certainly don’t have to go through a crisis in order to enjoy it and benefit from it. In any painful situation, even though you don’t have control over the pain, you do have control over your reaction, over your decision if to suffer or not. This book will help you make choices when things simply happen.
“All we an do is try to rise beyond the question ‘why did it happen?’ and begin to ask the question ‘what do I do now that it has happened?? (p. 71)
In other words, things happen. They just happen. Instead of asking yourself ?why me?? focus on what can you do moving forward. What can you do from this point on?
You lost your job? And what if it’s actually an opportunity for you and it happens for the best?
Kushner discusses different causes of human suffering. His belief is that God isn’t responsible for creating suffering, nor preventing it.
My experience confirms this philosophy. Imagine 2 people in the same tough situation. One might choose to suffer and one might choose to grow. They might not even know they’re choosing. Whatever happened might throw you out of balance, but it’s your reaction that will either keep you there or help you come back. That’s where we have the freedom of choice. Some things are just circumstantial, and there is no point in looking for a reason for them, but it’s in our hands to do something, to grow, to heal, and to make the most out of any situation.
I had a friend who lost everything in a house fire. And when I say everything, I mean everything. The amount of support she got from the community was amazing. She and her family have since moved to a new house and started all over again. It was a terrible tragedy, but they were able move forward and to create a life that feels more authentic than the life they had before.
“The God I believe in doesn’t send us the problem; He gives us the strength to cope with the problem.” (p. 127)
This book offers comfort, support and insight to people who have been hurt or see people around them hurting and ask themselves why.?