“Everything Happens for a Reason”
I generally cringe when I hear this statement. Unfortunately it is often uttered by someone describing a particularly trying moment of life , preventing me from lashing out and screaming about the misguided hypocrisy of this saying. If I did thus , for every time I heard this statement , I would be ostracized or beat up or generally despised by the public. I don’t wish for that reaction , so I generally bite my tongue ….literally. Pain has a way of bringing focus upon itself to the forefront. A useful device to be applied in similar situations. Your welcome.
So , I must see if I can particularly divine the true meaning of this statement (EHFAR) , and mentally tweak it , so it causes me less consternation. If I could deceive myself into believing that the utterer actually meant -something less ridiculous – I may avoid the social awkwardness and swollen tongue I experience. I will attempt just that , presently.
So … if the utterer is implying the law of causality , there could be some argument of reason by saying such. We can easily admit that a cue ball hit into another will cause an equal and opposite reaction. That particular something happened for a reason (or cause) . This is a simplified statement but some more abstract ideas could be treated as such. A car accident occurring , whereas one person was driving while texting and the other drinking while driving – and both simultaneously arriving at an intersection , which recently had its stop sign rendered unobservable , due to a similar incident. EHFAR. Cause – Effect 🙂
Unfortunately , that is not the intended connotation of this statement , therefore I must toil further.
More often this is quoted for the benefit of someone who experienced an undesirable event, and the utterer is attempting to provide comfort. The expected response to this platitude is , ‘Oh , you are so right , that makes it all OK’ – the utterer gets to feel good about providing deep philosophical aid to a person in need. The unsuspecting recipient of such wisdom is thus endowed with reassurance that all is consistent in the world.
Therefore , it seems to me , this statement really means that everything that happens , occurs for an overarching purpose. It implies that this particular event , no matter how painful or meaningless it seems , was intended to occur and that its benefit shall one day become apparent to the sufferer. . To follow this thought further , one must assume that there is a purpose-justifier with the ability and omniscience to weave seemingly arbitrary events into a fabric of purposeful cohesion. Let’s explore this.
‘Everything ‘is quite an all-inclusive word. That would require some incredibly intricate planning. Consider all the EVERYTHINGS in the universe INTERACTING with each other every nanosecond …and then each event must fit into this scheme. That would make the word ‘omnipotent’ quite an inept description of this being. Especially when the universe is considered infinite , which mathematically renders this statement impossible , but we should evade such principles when discussing reality. I digress….
Let’s be fair and consider that EVERYTHING isn’t what is intentioned by the utterer of this statement. They probably are referring to some , occasional and particular incidences in a person’s life (applied as capriciously as the Utterer chooses)
Maybe it means traumatic or momentous events such as losing a job , winning a game , getting a job , losing a game. These incidences occur for a particular purpose according to THE PLAN. To coordinate the person losing a job , to his/her benefit , with the person getting that job , for purposeful reason , is an amazing feat. Same applies to the winner/losers of …say , the super bowl. While the winners Tebow in prayerful triumph , the losers walk away , grasping and gagging on this statement. Keep in mind , a football team is made up of 100’s of intensely interested parties , besides the hundreds of thousands of fans , whom arguably may be even more intense and invested. For all this to be DETERMINED and purposeful is absolutely a MIRACLE , which is truly the belief driving this statement .
One must believe that each occurrence in one’s life is a miraculous event. Our recognition of reality , that jobs are lost , and games are won , or more deeply that we are finite and will eventually die must be dismissed as explanation for those things occurrence. We must apply the supernatural to every event in our lives. Our usual method of cognition cannot be used to explain such. One must reason that a miracle occurred rather than some other explanation based upon the laws of physics and reality we know. Believers, even those that are skeptical of this reality , find themselves in another awkward position (religion has a tendency to put one in many such) of having to agree with my hated statement , EHFAR…. despite evidence to the contrary (<—a definition of faith). Disbelief , from a believer , would allow for the existence of a malevolent creator, which is an obviously unacceptable conclusion.
Well … I don’t believe we achieved our intended goal of deceiving ourselves in any way that will allow for us to react politely to the espousing of EHFAR.
I will therefore attempt another tack. I will refocus this statement to more closely resemble nature. Life is generally knowable and understandable , it may even be predictable in some ways. Humankind are wondrous , powerful and resilient creatures. We are strong enough to accept some harsh realities and overcome. Good things happen to bad people , and bad things happen to good people. Yet many events in life , that cause change , can provide the recipient with the chance to adapt positively , or appreciate life more emphatically , or embrace our memories more fully , should they choose to do so.
Instead of relying on someone above ourselves to resolve all our issues, Instead of attempting to discern purpose from life obstacles , or passively accepting them as justifiable , we should attempt to face them and overcome them , as naturally , and nobly as we are capable.