Yesterday I wrote about blessings in disguise. Sometimes, something that seems bad can turn out to be a good thing. Note, I do not believe this is the case for everything.
I ended yesterday’s post by asking, “Do you buy into the theory that there’s a reason for everything?”
Spoiler alert: I don’t buy into this theory.
The world is a crazy, fucked up place. People are not inherently good or evil. They are opportunistic.
Altruism evolved because humans selfishly found it advantageous to make friends. Evil evolved out of scarcity of resources and the evolutionary advantage of helping those within our tribe, to the exclusion of others.
Good vs. evil is not all or nothing; it just depends whom you consider your tribe.
People throw around the phrase “everything happens for a reason” so often that it starts to sound like fact. But it’s not fact; it’s opinion. Perhaps a very popular opinion but that doesn’t make it true.
Because I can tie sitcoms into anything, a quote from Scrubs:
Be careful though, because if you start believing that bad things happen for a reason, it hurts that much more when they don’t.
It’s dangerous to believe that everything happens for a reason. From there, it’s a slippery slope to believing that people must have done something to deserve their misfortune. And all the way at the end of that downward slope, you have the Westboro Baptist Church.
I guess people want to believe that everything happens for a reason because it makes them feel safe. If this is all part of a plan, I have nothing to fear.
For me, I found it liberating to let go of that concept. If I stop trying to figure out some deeper meaning behind tragedy, I can focus on enjoying life for the unpredictable and temporary gift that it is. If we stop asking why bad things happen, we can focus on doing something to stop them.
Yesterday’s tragedy did not happen because God smited Massachusetts for allowing gay marriage. It didn’t happen because the victims did something wrong. It didn’t even happen to teach us all a lesson about the fragility of life.
Yesterday happened because humans are inherently opportunistic. Or, if you’re religious, because God gave man free will. Because people chose to do evil. There is no good reason.