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Examine Your Life
Question 35: Why do bad things happen to me, and how should I respond to them?
 

   Ivan Sacks :
I view all situations and experiences as opportunities and blessings. This viewing may come across as being naive but how we receive all our situations it totally up to us. To recognize all that happens to us as a test and that these tests are either blessings and of opportunities helps us to eliminate the word bad which in my view is simply an interpretation of the test.
Tests happen from Hashem and they help us to grow. We grow by responding and not by reacting. We must view all tests as blessings and opportunities to grow.



   Rabbi Schwartz :
Bad things happen to us through the silly mistakes we make. These mistakes are called silly because we really do know better. Under the tumult and noise, we understand how we should have behaved. But, with laziness of thought, indulging our lowest urges and simple stubbornness, we allow ourselves to make such mistakes.
Even where we can't trace bad things to bad actions, our lack of performing good actions or of learning what we should be learning, could be what brought on such consequences.
In any case, it helps us best to realize that bad things happen, directly and indirectly, because of how we have been living and continue to live our lives. This adds a flavor and a taste to the unpleasant and painful experiences we suffer.
More important though, is not to get angry. That only makes things worse. Since we manage our own lives, we need to take credit for all we do and the consequences that result from our decisions. Then, as a next step, we need to make such bad things our teachers, teachers that guide us away from our silliness, and towards more powerful, creative and productive lives.
Another effect of bad things is the incredible frustration they stir within us, a frustration that drives us crazy. However, this too we can use for our benefit. Our every frustration can be the charge that motivates us towards self-improvement and growth. Let us turn the bad, the unpleasant and painful, into a means that helps us become better people.





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