Often in life, I hear people say how if only in life things could’ve been different.
Then they could’ve been happy…successful…satisfied…contributed more…been a better husband/wife, father/mother, son/daughter, employee or Jew/Christian/Muslim…achieved more…gotten further in life…become more…saved more…been more charitable…or a better person.
I remember in elementary school, in one class when the kids would ask lots of questions…”What if [this]?” or “What if [that]?”
And the teacher (who happened to be the vice principle) would start to get exacerbated, and would blurt out, “If, if, if…if my grandmother had wheels she’d be a trolley!”
Not very complimentary to his grandmother, but point well taken–we can ask if till we’re blue in the face, but what does that accomplish except make excuses for ourselves or fantasize about something that isn’t.
This came up yesterday when I was talking with some people about the Syrian+ refugee crisis and what is the obligation and right thing to do in terms of Europe and America taking in so many of these people.
And someone said, “Well why should we take them in if they can already go to so many Muslim countries that could take them in–why are we involved?”
And one of the other people goes, “Well that’s a big if about the other Muslim countries taking them in–because they don’t seem to want to help them.”
And then he adds this funny saying to solidify his point, “If the queen had another appendage, she’d be the king!”
Um, okay…that’s another way to put it.
Not sure this answers the refugee question about who is or should be taking responsibility and helping whom.
But that’s the thing about “if’s, ands, or buts” in life…these can be real questions or they can become convenient excuses, conditions, and qualifications.
And that is why we have to discern if something is a real question that makes us examine things harder and more carefully to make a better decision or whether it’s just another dead end or side track to nowhere. 😉
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)