What’s Good About It?

| June 6, 2014

What-Is-Good-About-ItEDITORIAL – I can vividly remember the day I went blind in my left eye like it was yesterday, even though it’s going on 30 years ago now. It happened early one Saturday morning, just a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving, one of my favorite times of the year.

Autumn was in the air; it was cool, but not quite cold, and I was looking forward to going home for the holidays. I was standing outside, and bent over to pick up a pebble. When I stood up, something strange happened.

The vision in my left eye was now blurry and I could see dozens of black, wavy lines floating all over the place as I looked out. This set into motion a three-week hospital stay, with me being poked, prodded, and tested until I thought I would break.

Then the diagnosis: It was a condition called Von Hippel Lindau (VHL) syndrome. The eye was only the first of many things to come. Later, I’d have that eye removed, along with many other surgeries.

So, why am I telling you all of this? That is a fair question. It is certainly not to get you to feel sorry for me. I accepted what I have a long time ago. And there are many who have it much worse off in life than I do. I know that. So, why then?

It’s this. My hope is that I can inspire you to begin looking for the good in bad situations. If I’ve learned anything from my trials and tribulations, it’s that. There’s always something good in any bad. Although, sometimes, you have to look hard to find it.

That’s certainly been the case for me. Although I wouldn’t have asked for it, this condition has made me who I am today. I see things in ways I never saw them before, and have empathy for others I never would have had without going through this.

That is not to say I didn’t go through a dark period. For years, I was angry that this had happened to me. I pushed people out of my life and suffered more than I needed to. But I have learned my lesson, and hope to spare you from the same.

My suggestion is that you get into the habit of looking for the good when something goes wrong. Ask the question, “What’s good about it?” even when things seem at their worst. Then be open for the answers that eventually will come your way.

Sometimes they’re fast; sometimes they are much slower than you’d hoped. But, if you hold on, and are willing to look for them, the answers to the question, “What’s good about it?” will come. Sometimes when you least expect it.

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40 Comments on "What’s Good About It?"

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  1. Jwr says:

    Very inspirational! Thank you….I’m passing this along!

  2. Ivy says:

    Great story Jay, thanks for sharing. It’s so nice to hear someone who always looks at the bright side

  3. Stephanie says:

    I know you hear this all the time. You are great Jay. You have gained more than you (seemingly) have lost. And you have certainly given to us, your Wolfpack, those lessons to contemplate. Your stories are funny and inspiring and for me, always perfectly timed. Thank you!!!

  4. hope bishop says:

    I love this article Jay. I have to remind myself to look for the positive and not the negative. My flesh fights to be afraid ant to worry but uncovering the positive is like finding a pearl. Thanks for such a great article yet again

  5. Alan says:

    Jay, it seems the most successful among us have all overcome some major trial, downfall, or traumatic situation. Their stories, as does yours, inspire the rest of us to persevere.

  6. Jimmy Hagerman says:

    Thanks, Jay. Your article reminds me that in all things, I ought to be open to the good that might arise. Faith is the stuff that helps me to see good where it is not readily apparent, and hope is a bit more persistent in finding out what’s good about my situation. Next time things go wrong, your suggestion to keep looking for what’s good about it, just might help some of us avoid passing the blame or wallowing in self pity and move onto to enjoying the life we were given.

  7. DeLisa Smith says:

    Phenomenal piece Jay…you are truly an inspiration and your truth…it breaths life into reality in that it shows that sometimes the story, although it doesn’t come bundled up in a pretty, neat little packaging, can still be magnificently powerful… And that, my friend, in my most humble of opinions, sums you up…”Magnificently Powerful!” #unstoppablejayplatt!

  8. Amanda Carpenter says:

    Inspirational guy, listen up!

  9. Gene Dasher SR says:

    Thanks for sharing Jay, my daughter is facing surgery for breast in the days ahead and this is reassuring knowing God is there to show her and us the way in the days ahead,

  10. Wally says:

    Jay you are the greatest…….When I look back, it seems to me, All the grief that had to be, Left me when the pain was O’er, Stonger than I was before. ……author unknown. You live it Boss.

  11. Shannon says:

    There is that Greater thing I call God… It is important to have those lessons of the “Bitter Bad Stuff” it makes us appreciate and recognize ALLLL the Sweetness in LIFE, our Gift, from God:) Thanks Jay… you make me think:)

  12. Sean says:

    You are an inspiration to many and I enjoy reading your books and posts. Most of all I am honored to call you a friend!!

  13. Angel H says:

    Jay, all the above comments pretty well state
    how I feel! You truly do shed light on the dark
    path, find humor to spark a smile!! If I can
    keep an open mind, & remain teachable, I will
    truly & honestly be the beneficiary of our
    friendship!!

  14. Adam gatzemeier says:

    I would like to thank you jay for sharing. You have a way of keeping me humble and thankful for everything in my life. You keep things in perspective for me!

  15. You are absolutely correct!! The situations that bring a person down are actually to make you stronger not weaker. There are many kinds of strength. Lives may not go as planned but at least we are given a chance to make a change, much better than the alternative. Thanks Jay!!

  16. Missy Parkos says:

    Love this Jay (as usual).. Not gonna lie I have my days as well – but it is true when you say most likely someone out there has it worse than you! We are who we are because of the experiences and tribulations we have been through – the important thing is if we step to learn from them.

  17. Jen Pitfield says:

    I enjoyed reading this life lesson so much that I just shared it with Bear over lunch. His immediate response, “That’s a good message, I’m going to apply that to school, academics and athletics.”. Well done, Jay, you’re reaching the 10 year olds! ( And their Mummy’s)!

  18. Chris Sohar says:

    As always Jay, your positive and upbeat character come through in your voice every time. Without a doubt you have chosen to make your experiences both inspiring and fulfilling at the same time. I have great admiration for you as I know do many others. Thank you for being you.

  19. Monica Griffin says:

    Everything happens for a reason. While searching for that reason, you just might find “what’s good about it!”

  20. Karen Coyne says:

    keep a Gratitude Journal.,.. like Oprah… five things a day that you are grateful for! Write it down every night and then you can look back when you are feeling grumpy!!!

    can I sign up to your blog… or follow you…?