Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Even-Steven? Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2010.
“Life isn’t fair. It’s just fairer than death, that’s all.” ~William Goldman
Some years back, Rabbi Harold Kushner wrote a book, “When Bad Things Happen to Good People.” Kushner, whose young son had died of a devastating illness, asked the question we all ask when we suffer, especially when we did nothing to deserve it: Why me?
I’m waiting for a different book: “When Good Things Happen to Bad People.” Because I see an awful lot of that going around. Why them?
There are people out there who do bad things. They tell lies about others. They are greedy. They are selfish. Some of them even break the law and get away with it.
We can wait for the scales of justice to tip, but the truth is, it doesn’t always happen. Sometimes, despite it all, these people wind up with good jobs in lovely homes and with nice families.
One person tried for years to ruin my life and the lives of the people I cared most about. She told lies about me and my family, and her behavior affected every aspect of my life: my relationships, my job, and my finances.
It may seem petty, but I had always comforted myself with the thought that one day, she would get her comeuppance. One day, I thought, she would get what was coming to her. One fine day, she would suffer, and I would revel in it.
I recently heard how she’s doing, and my fantasy bubble has popped. She’s become quite successful. Her spouse didn’t leave her. Her career is going well. God didn’t even smite her! Where’s the justice?
To be fair, I don’t know what she’s like on the inside. She could be miserably depressed. She could detest her outwardly perfect life. I don’t know. I just know that she’s not wearing a sackcloth, living deserted and alone, like I’d pictured in my mind. And I’m ashamed to admit that I feel angry and depressed about this.
The Bible tells me to bless my enemies. The truth is I’ve had very, very few enemies in my life, and not a lot of opportunities to practice that commandment. I guess I have one now.