“Why me?!” .... A younger me would easily blurt out when things didn’t work my way. At that time, it seemed like my disappointment was the end of the world.
Mama told me we are put through difficult times because God wants to test us. To see our faith, our endurance and how we respond to difficulties.. And we must prove we can endure, and are worthy of the life gifted to us. Going by that logic, there’s some serious evaluation going on.
In times like the now, it is difficult to hold on to Mama's words. All benchmarks and definitions, have completely been redefined as we wait in desperate hope for a silver lining.
Our systems have collapsed, our leaders have disappointed and we are struggling to breathe, literally.
Overflowing crematoriums, messages of SOS, calls of distress, news full of either people crying in pain, or messages of hope that seem difficult to hold on to.
Even for those who are safe so far, fear is like a second skin now. Every message, mail, greeting begins with a ‘hope you are safe’… so many messages end with a 'sorry for your loss'.
“Why me?!” too many times every day these words keep ringing in my mind, albeit in a different context. Every time I scroll through the news…
“Why me?!” Why have I been spared so far?
Between rage, frustration, disappointment and panic, I see so many of my wonderful friends coping with one day at a time. Regular people who are just out there, colleagues, friends and strangers, who are stretched to the limits, helping people they don’t even know.
While Oxygen has been difficult to find, their humanity is glowing like a star in the darkest of nights.
I want to preserve this part of this horrible time. This bit when identities don't matter, when people hurt for others, when they care beyond the ordinary, when they risk everything they have instead of walking away, when they shared, donated hoping to make some difference..
This crisis has brought us closer in grief as we mourn and hurt. But each day now we are also divided into groups not of our own making.
Of those who are suffering, and those who are safe.
Of those who need help, and those who can help.
Of those who choose to help, and those who choose to look away.
Why me?... Because this privilege of being safe can only be honored by sharing it with those who are not.
Whether it is speaking truth to power, operating as frontline workers, volunteering as foot soldiers, donating whatever we can, shouldering responsibility within families, being good neighbors, or standing together in solidarity....
Our inaction will be unforgivable at a time when collective action is the only way out.
Mama wasn't wrong. We are being tested.
But this crisis is not a test of those who are suffering. It is a test of those who are not.