Wednesday 14 March 2012


I’m having one of those days where I’m trying to figure out why life serves it up as it does – I’m not religious (sorry to disappoint you; and no, I don't need conversion) so I don’t fall in the camp that believes this is all God’s plan. I suppose if I were religious, days like this would feel a whole hell of a lot easier (I probably wouldn't say 'hell' either). But being who I am, it’s hard in certain moments to rationalize the fairness of life, for lack of a better way to put it. Why the good die young – or die old, or die at all – when the bad seem to thrive and take over Wall Street :-). Why some people seem plagued by bad luck and tragedy no matter what they do, when others seem to conduct life under a cloud of good fortune no matter how morally bankrupt they are (there are exceptions to this I realize).

I suppose for me, it was always hard to swallow the cliches that were ponied about to help us rationalize this whole imbalance in life...'people get what they deserve, or life only serves up what we can handle.' In fact, the list of clichés are so long it’s hard to know which to pick…'we reap what we sow, everything happens for a reason, karma, what comes around goes around'…lord, I feel nauseous from the circle of excuses. I always thought of India when people trotted out one of these one liners. Yes, India. Here is a country of a billion human beings and a large majority of these individuals are living in abject poverty. I mean, squalor, feces in buckets (sorry if you’re having breakfast) type of poverty. And then I’d ask myself (and this is even when I was young, as you can see my mind was churning even way back then), why the heck did they deserve that? Or more importantly, why did they have to handle that, when I wasn’t handling that? Why aren’t we all handling that? Was there karma that bad that they only got a damn bucket, when I got plumbing? It just never felt fair.

This is what I suppose turned me into the ‘no rhyme or reason’ person that I am when it comes to looking at the universe. In short, from where I stand, there is simply no plausible reason you can give to me (God’s plan included) to why there are hospital wards of sick children, or mass graves in Mexico, or tsunamis and earthquakes ravaging entire countries (and I could go on, and on and on). No reason other than, just because that is the way life works. There is no reason, there is no rhyme, there just is. Everything doesn't happen for a reason, it just happens (as Keanu Reeves so wisely said. He's like Yoda, that one).

Now, am I going to teach the King that every situation begets some sort of lesson to be learned? For sure. That I definitely believe. No matter what our path or what befalls us, there is a way to approach it, learn from it, and overcome it if need be. But will I impart to him that everything happens for a reason? When it comes to the weather, perhaps – it rains because water vapor in the clouds gets too heavy and it falls back to the ground as rain. There is your reason. But when it comes to disease, freak accidents, the imprisonment and torture of the innocents, and overall senseless tragedy that you see every day in the news cycle, will I tell him it’s all happening for a reason? Aside from reminding him how precious life is, no, there’s no reason outside of that - at least not from where I sit. 

As it so wisely reminds us above, 'everything happens for a reason' is just a nice proverb to make us all feel better about the base unfairness of life. Cause if it happens for a reason, there must be a point to it all, or at least a silver lining. Because let's be honest, silver linings are merely concession prizes, are they not? Your house burned down, BUT, the silver lining is that the house was riddled with asbestos. Well, gosh, at least the fire took care of that little problem, what a fabulous end result! [Is my jaded sensibility starting to show through too much?] 

I told you I wasn't having a good day. 

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