Why You?

December 06, 2013

Why You?

"Why me?"

People tend to ask themselves that question when something terrible happens to them, like a bad accident, or a diagnosis of an illness.

That was the reaction of David Osmond, Donny and Marie's nephew, when he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2006.

David's own budding pop career was just starting to take off when, in 2006, he received the troubling news. Soon he had trouble walking; his difficulty breathing made it impossible to sing; and he thought he might never even play guitar again.

My friend Steve saw David speak last week; he said it was very inspiring.

David said that after a dark bout of asking himself, "Why me?" he realized he had to look at his situation another way.

He realized that if he kept thinking "Why me?" he'd never be able to work his way back to doing the things he loved. Put simply, it was an unproductive way to think.

David took stock of what he did have - a loving and supportive family, great friends, a talent for music, and many other things - and he began to feel grateful instead of cursed.

With that feeling in his heart, he began the difficult process of physical therapy that would beat back his MS - if only for a time.

Now he's back performing, and driving a car, and living his life as fully as he can possibly live it.

He still has MS - there's no cure - but in David's words, "MS does not have me."

It's funny. We all do it. We ask ourselves "Why me?" when something bad happens, but we never ask it when something good happens. So we learn nothing from either experience.

It reminds me of when I used to manage restaurants. I'd see waiters complain and moan when they got a bad tip - "why me?" - but not act thrilled when they got a good tip. They rarely stopped to ask themselves "What did I do differently to get this great tip?" nor "What did I do wrong to get this bad tip?"

That's what David Osmond realized: It doesn't really matter why something happened to you - unless you actually learn from it.

Next time you have a "Why me?" moment, take a second to lick your wounds...

Then dust yourself off and ask:

"What am I going to do about it?"

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