Most people I have met have voiced this question (in the title) or a variation:
Why not me?
It seems the typical human is a saint, and is being perpetually wronged. Disaster after disaster befalls him. Merit is not rewarded. The "others" are hounding him. All he wants is something simple and achievable like … which every Tom, Dick and Harry is getting, but he is being denied his right.
? The teacher doesn't know the subject. He gave me less marks because I am brilliant, and he is jealous.
? I did not get the job because they received a phone call from a general/ federal secretary/chairman
? I belong to a different ethnic background/sect, and they are very prejudiced
And so on …
So one says "Why me?" when he perceives a wrong to him, and "why not me?" when he sees someone else with something his heart desires, like a palatial house, a BMZ, glittering jewelry, well-behaved and brilliant children, etc.
Today I applied the reverse:
A young man who is one of those who has hounded me often to take money from me, came again with his tales of woes. I have decided to be a little more strict, as I too have to live within a budget, so I told him off, and came back inside.
Then I asked: "Why not me?" I mean, why aren't I the one going begging. It made me feel so grateful to Allah that I had been spared this fate. Then I recollected many more such people. Orphans who live in orphanages, and at one time were sent out to beg for themselves and the orphanage.
Why not me? I mean wasn't it a tremendous blessing that I lived with my family who catered for all my problems, and when I left, I still get looked after, and also receive duas, totally undeserved duas at that.
Some years ago, when my sister was buying a house in Karachi, I was there, so I was asked to check it make suggestions for alteration. As I was going into the house, a man, about my age, was pushing a vegetable cart. He was a vegetable seller. He said:
"Seth, Allah has given you so much. I am your age, but I cannot even arrange a place to sell my vegetables. If I could afford a small shop, I would not have to push this cart".
Now, I could have answered with the truth: that I am not a seth; I am a worker. Neither me, nor my sister can afford to set up a shop for you. But I stopped short; gave him some money, and went about my business.
Why wasn't it me who was pushing that cart?
Something to ponder about.
So next time you fall into "Why me?"-ism, ask yourself: "Why not me?".
And if you feel like: "Why not me?", Then ask: "Why me?"