Do you believe everything happens for a reason?
Ugh. This is a tough one that forces me to reveal much about myself. Let’s just say, from the depths of my soul, I used to want to believe that everything happens for a reason, but I could never quite manage to get there. I have never believed in a proper god in the sky sitting in his throne torturing and ignoring humans, but I used to want to believe that there was some sort of karmic or universal balance. I had to in order to keep my sanity.
There was a time when everything was bleak and alienating and hopeless, and the whole known universe fell away under my feet. There was a time that I wished there was a god just so that I could strangle him myself with my bare hands for dealing me the cards that I was dealt. There was a time when my life was so devastatingly horrible that I had to reach out for something in order to believe in the concept of justice and maintain my sanity since the laws of man were thoroughly useless.
I can totally understand how people would grasp onto something like dogma or karma, because life is just too unfair. The notion that we’re all out here on our own and that there is no higher justice than the laws of man is just too maddening and unfair to think about when you are literally fighting for your life.
When the laws of man spectacularly failed to bring about justice, I thought that maybe the universe would take care of its own. I sought comfort in science. I eschewed the laws of man in favor of the laws of physics – what goes up must come down; for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. These rules are provable and sound. Science gave me comfort. I reasoned that you cannot go through life being a total shithead forever. Eventually, something will catch up with you, whether it be the laws of man or a universal retribution smack down. Sadly, the laws of physics don’t apply to human behavior. The justice I sought never came. I’m still waiting for it.
So, do I believe that everything happens for a reason? No way. If it did, I’d have no choice but to find reason to be incompetent. Reason cannot claim to be capable whatsoever if these are the results. If this is the best that reason can do, it’s about as effective as screwing in a nail with a trout. I prefer to think better of it. I prefer to think that the ability to reason is the best attribute of the monkey known as man and I don’t blame it for everything.
This thing called life is completely random. Some people are blessed with lives that contain little worry and evil. Others suffer through day after day of nightmarish misery. It’s just the way it is. Life is not fair. It’s full of heartbreak and trauma. However, for every catastrophic moment, there’s an equal and opposite moment of good. Sometimes, we don’t see them. Sometimes, all we can focus on is the bad. It’s the human way. But, as the old saying goes, we have to take the bad with the good. I’ve finally come to see the good, maybe not all the time, but it is there.
Believing that nothing happens for any reason whatsoever – aside from the laws of physics, and sometimes, those of man – is actually liberating. It means that our options are limitless. It means that man can make whatever it wants out of this nonsensical, biased and random crap shoot called life.