Writer's Block

The USA is the place I was born. Canada is the place I was raised. Taiwan is the place in my heart.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Everything happens for a reason...

Whether you’ve just been through a bad break up, lost your favorite pair of earrings, just been robbed of every cent, been diagnosed with a terminal illness, learned of the death of a loved one, had a computer crash right before backing up ten years of research, been physically injured, held up at gunpoint, or even had all of the aforementioned happen to you...

There’s bound to be someone who’ll say, “Everything happens for a reason.” And at these times, when we are at the lowest of lows, feeling like we are going in a downward spiral out of control, these words hardly offer any comfort at all, however well-intentioned the source.

It doesn’t make things any easier to swallow. Perhaps some of us have even offered these words ourselves in trying to comfort others. We don’t know what to say; if there’s an explanation then the person could just get over it. And that’s what’s easier to say, “Just get over it.” That’s what “Everything happens for a reason” amounts to for the injured party.

Saying this is easier than saying that maybe there is no reason for why things happen. Saying this is easier than dealing with the other person’s sorrows, listening to them and feeling just as hopeless and helpless as them. It’s easier to say “Everything happens for a reason” because we don’t know how to be there for someone, we can’t be there for someone (being burdened by our own problems, struggling to understand our own emotional dilemmas). Dealing with another person’s despair is not an easy thing to do. You want to help, but you don’t know how. There’s no clear solution. The process of grieving, healing and rebuilding is a process that takes time and it’s different for each person and situation.

When someone hears, “Everything happens for a reason,” the last thing that he/she would want to consider is that he/she could have seen it coming and therefore somehow might have been responsible for their plight.

I don’t know if everything happens for a reason, or if we can ever really know if there is a reason, what that reason really was. But in the grand scheme of things, looking back on life one might be able to say, now I see why this happened in my life, or one might be able to assign meaning to things that have happened, to learn from it and understand how it’s shaped them as a person.

Then, years later a person who was swindled out of every last penny, survived a near death experience, and was left by his wife, could say, “Everything happens for a reason.”


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