Arthur Ashe, the legendary Wimbledon player contracted the AIDS virus from a blood transfusion following a heart surgery in 1983. He let the world know that he had this disease in 1992 and simultaneously formed the Arthur Ashe Foundation for the defeat of AIDS.
When someone referred to him as a victim of AIDS he said, “I’m not a victim, I’m a messenger.”
When he was dying in 1993, he received hundreds of letters from his fans. One of them said, “Why does God have to select you for such a bad disease?”
To this he said:
The world over…
5 crore children start playing tennis,
50 lakh learn to play tennis,
5 lakh learn professional tennis,
50,000 come to the circuit,
5,000 reach the Grand Slam,
50 reach Wimbledon,
4 to semi final,
2 to the finals.
When I was holding a cup, I never asked, ‘God, why me?’
And today in pain, I should not be asking, ‘God, why me?’
It is perhaps in accepting our lot with folded hands that true happiness is. For happiness lies not in getting what we love, but in loving and accepting what we get. The Lord alone decides when to give happiness and when to give sorrow. He alone knows the importance of letting us savour both. A person who eats only sweets never knows the taste of salt. If only you eat both, can you tell the difference!
If ever you get your share of salty sorrows, do remember to thank God, for having let you taste the sweetness of happiness too.