The advantage of being a victim of life’s circumstances is that you are not at fault and thus can blame others, including God, for your problems and failures.
I am not talking about fault as in causation; obviously, crime victims or accident victims harmed by the negligence of another did not cause what happened to them, but neither do victims of disease or abuse. I am talking about choices in how to react to what happened.
I am talking about making excuses rather than making efforts to overcome even things that are not your fault.
I am talking about the dangers of self pity.
For example, if only Archie Manning was my father, I would be an NFL quarterback like Peyton and Eli, but as it is, I did not have a chance. All of us whose fathers are not Archie Manning have a great excuse. Let us blame our own fathers and, of course, God. Life is so unfair to people who see life that way.
I admire people who do not see life that way. Wise people know that there are blessings and troubles in everyone’s life, even for Peyton Manning.
My Uncle Luke was an excellent athlete. He was actually a Major League pitcher. God blessed him with talents that he used. He also had an injury to his throwing arm. I never heard him say if that was his fault or his coach’s fault or God’s fault. It is just something that happened which ended his pitching career. But that was a small part of his life.
Luke played the organ and had his own radio show. He was a local celebrity. He was a top car salesman, even with a bum arm.
Luke had the gift of enthusiasm. He was cheerful. He was friendly. He would greet people from across the street, calling them by name. People liked it that he knew who they were, that he liked them, and that he knew their names.
When he changed from the Ford dealer to the Chevy dealer, most of his Ford customers decided to buy Chevrolets because the brand did not matter as much as it was important to buy their car from Luke. What mattered was that Luke knew them and would take care of them. They trusted Luke more than the car manufacturers. Plus, it was fun to make the deal with Luke and enjoy his sense of humor. Everyone felt that Luke gave them the best deal, so they came back again and again.
Luke had a habit of creating nicknames for other people. I liked my nickname. He called me Tarzan because I was a competitive swimmer. He did not pressure me to be a pitcher in Little League. I was a catcher and that was okay with him. Imagine how fun it was for me to introduce Uncle Luke to my Little League friends. (You will be surprised to read herein that I did not play in the Major Leagues. Sad but true. How unfair of God towards me.)
Another baseball connection was that Luke, like Lou Gehrig, was afflicted with A.L.S., commonly called “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.”
I never heard Uncle Luke complain. If he did not complain, maybe I should not either.
Thanks, Luke, for the example of excellence, cheerfulness, and courage.
Thanks, God, for Uncle Luke being in my life.